Taj Mahal | 2023 Summer Sessions
Taj Mahal playing his resonator guitar on stage, along with the 2023 Summer Sessions artwork
World Premiere Performances

Taj Mahal

Savoy Ballroom Tribute w/ John Simon Orchestra, MAria Muldaur & More

AUG 3-6 | BLUES MEETS EARLY SWING

Aug 03 - Aug 06, 2023
Miner Auditorium

PLEASE NOTE:
This page is an archive of a past production


Please visit our calendar for all upcoming SFJAZZ shows.

Calendar

Original show description below.

Two-time GRAMMY-winning blues icon Taj Mahal is the closest thing we have to an American griot. His music embraces the raw energy of field hollers, the rent-party gumption of early jazz, the urbane grooves of rhythm and blues, the church-derived cadences of soul music and the rhythms of West Africa, via New Orleans and the Caribbean.

His Summer Sessions concerts are the world premiere performances of material from his forthcoming album Savoy — a jazz-inflected tribute to the music of his childhood and the legendary Harlem ballroom of the 30s,40s, and 50s, featuring his singular interpretations of Great American Songbook classics including “Stompin’ at the Savoy,” “Summertime,” and “Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You.” The project has special meaning for Mahal — his parents met at the Savoy during an Ella Fitzgerald concert and the music of that era was the soundtrack of his early life. In his words, “I heard (the songs on Savoy) as a kid when all of those people who made those musics were alive and speaking to us through the records.”

Since his first release 50 years ago with the Rising Sons, which he founded with Ry Cooder, Taj has been a cultural force, bringing blues culture to new generations. Equal parts preservationist and visionary, Taj Mahal wields his expressive growl of a voice to conjure an era when social gatherings without live music were simply unthinkable.

More

The blues icon returns with a tribute to the legendary Harlem swing music ballroom of the 30s and 40s. These only-at-SFJAZZ concerts will feature an orchestra, American folk great Maria Muldaur and more.

That sublime mix of traditional Delta blues, front-porch finger-picking tunes and funky soul that Taj Mahal can whip together like just about no one else out there.

San Francisco Chronicle

That sublime mix of traditional Delta blues, front-porch finger-picking tunes and funky soul that Taj Mahal can whip together like just about no one else out there.

San Francisco Chronicle

Personnel

Taj Mahal guitar, harmonica, vocals
Maria Muldaur vocals
Sandy Cressman vocals
Carla Holbrook vocals
Destani Wolf vocals
Sheldon Brown saxophone, flute, clarinet
Erik Jekabson trumpet
Mike Rinta trombone
Lincoln Adler saxophone
Evan Price violin
Danny Caron guitar
John Simon piano
Ruth Davies bass
Leon Joyce, Jr. drums

Savoy showcases Taj Mahal’s musical range and versatility, and his interpretations of these songs bring smiles to our faces, warm our hearts, and make our feet happy.

Folk Alley

Personnel

Taj Mahal guitar, harmonica, vocals
Maria Muldaur vocals
Sandy Cressman vocals
Carla Holbrook vocals
Destani Wolf vocals
Sheldon Brown saxophone, flute, clarinet
Erik Jekabson trumpet
Mike Rinta trombone
Lincoln Adler saxophone
Evan Price violin
Danny Caron guitar
John Simon piano
Ruth Davies bass
Leon Joyce, Jr. drums

Savoy showcases Taj Mahal’s musical range and versatility, and his interpretations of these songs bring smiles to our faces, warm our hearts, and make our feet happy.

Folk Alley

Watch & Listen

Taj Mahal

Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You

Taj Mahal

She Caught The Katy And Left Me A Mule To Ride

Taj Mahal

Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You

Taj Mahal

She Caught The Katy And Left Me A Mule To Ride

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