Jai Uttal

Jai Uttal is a Grammy nominated pioneer in the world music community. His eclectic east-meets-west sound has put his music at the forefront of the world fusion movement. Jai Uttal’s musical roots embrace a rich variety of cultures and traditions that span the globe and the centuries. From the hillbilly music of the Appalachian Mountains to the passionate strains of Bengali street singers, from the haunting rhythms and melodies of ancient India to contemporary electric rock sounds, Jai’s music distills the essence of diverse musical forms.

As a child in New York City, Jai’s home was filled with music. He began studying classical piano at the age of seven, and later learned to play the banjo, harmonica, and guitar. His musical interests encompassed a wide variety of styles, and over the years he experimented with many forms of musical expression. Which led him to the work of India’s National Living Treasure, Ali Akbar Khan. At age 19, Jai become a student of Khansahib for traditional voice training and to learn the sarod, a 25-stringed Indian instrument. Later he traveled to India where he was deeply inspired by the Bauls, the wandering street musicians of Bengal. Jai settled among them, communicating only through music, which ultimately helped establish his unique style.

During these early visits to India, Jai also met his Guru, Neem Karoli Baba, and spent time with many great beings of both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. He became deeply absorbed in the practice of kirtan, the ancient yoga of chanting, or singing to God. This form of prayer became the core of his musical and spiritual life.

Jai has release critically acclaimed and transnational albums and recordings such as: FootprintsMonkeyBeggars and SaintsJourney, Garden of DreamsShiva Station, Mondo Rama, Kirtan! The Art and Practice of Ecstatic ChantMusic for Yoga and Other JoysLovelandDial M for Mantra, and PranayamaThunder LoveBhakti BazaarQueen of HeartsKirtan KidsReturn to Shiva Station: Kailash ConnectionLifeline: The Essential Jai Uttal and Ben Leinbach Collection.

Jai adds, “World music is music from everywhere. Music that creates bridges. Music that unites hearts and cultures. Music that brings peace.

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