Government producer Doug Cox is bringing again one of many biggest blues guitarists to ever grace a Vancouver Island MusicFest stage: the legendary Taj Mahal.
“Completely, he’s,” mentioned Cox. “When you consider acoustic blues gamers from his era of Afro-Individuals, he was actually the one that, in my eyes, made it to that standing of famous person standing, and due to that he has been a massively necessary artist and has had an enormous affect on not simply solely Afro-Individuals, however whites too, that performed acoustic blues from like my era, which is type of the era after his. And, he’s so good!
“So yeah, it’s big, it’s very thrilling, and we’re simply actually thrilled that we’re going to have him on the pageant once more. He’s the right MusicFest act. He type of represents every part we’re about on the pageant.”
The three-time Grammy Award winner was final at MusicFest in 2008.
“Taj Mahal is a very powerful, influential Afro-American acoustic bluesman of his era,” mentioned Cox. “He’s the unifying hyperlink between the now-gone blues elders and the present era of younger Afro-American blues artists. He was additionally world music earlier than world music was cool.”
Taj Mahal has gained the Grammy for Greatest Modern Blues Album on three completely different events (1997, 2000 and 2018) and obtained the Americana Music Affiliation’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2014.
He has 30 studio albums and 14 stay albums to his credit score, in addition to greater than a dozen compilation albums.
He’ll play on Saturday evening, July 9, and could have his band with him.
“For folks his age who’re Afro-American, it wasn’t actually thought of cool to play acoustic blues – that was at a time when the music was thought of to be consultant of the … poverty of (the neighborhood).”
“Taj was actually the one man of his age that type of carried the torch for acoustic blues all through that point interval.”
His web site, tajblues.com, describes his music as “mixing a spicy concoction of Afrocentric roots music, a blues gumbo kissed by reggae, Latin, R&B, Cajun, Caribbean rhythms, gospel, West African folks, jazz, calypso, and Hawaiian slack key.”
Though Taj Mahal (born Henry St. Claire Fredericks, Jr.) was raised in a musical household – his father was a jazz pianist and his mom was a Gospel singer – a profession in music was by no means a fait accompli rising up. His first job was at a dairy farm when he was 16 years outdated, and he finally went to the College of Massachusetts to check agriculture, with minors in veterinary medication and agronomy. His musical profession first took off shortly after graduating from UMass, when he fashioned a band referred to as the Rising Sons with one other guitar legend (and MusicFest alumnus) Ry Cooder. The remainder, as they are saying, is historical past.
“What conjures up me most about my profession is that I’ve been in a position to make a residing enjoying the music that I at all times cherished and needed to play because the early 50s,” Mahal says on his web site. “And the truth that I nonetheless am concerned in having fun with an thrilling profession at this time limit is really priceless.
“The blues is greater than most individuals assume. You might hear Mozart play the blues. It is perhaps extra like a lament. It is perhaps extra melancholy. However I’m going to let you know: the blues is in there.”
To see all of the performers introduced to date, and to purchase tickets, go to Islandmusicfest.com
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Comox ValleyConcertsVancouver Island MusicFest