Taj Mahal (Henry St. Clair Fredericks)
Born: May 17, 1942, New York, New York
Photo credit: Francoise Digel – email@example.com
Proclaimed the “High Sheriff of the Blues” by Dick Waterman, Taj Mahal has played a vital role in the preservation of blues as well as traditional African-American roots music since the 1960’s. Singer, songwriter, and noted musicologist, Taj began singing at age six and had learned to play guitar by the age of 15. Moving to Los Angeles in 1965 he was performing both solo and as a member of “Rising Sons” which included Ry Cooder. His recording debut occurred in 1968 with a self-titled release on the Columbia label. The multiple Grammy winner is a musical chameleon changing and mixing genres and has composed authentic music for movie soundtracks (Sounder and Sounder II) as well as for the Broadway production of MuleBone. Taj is an active member of the music Makers Relief Foundation, which to date has given well over $1 million in grants and assistance to roots musicians since its inception.