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Taj Mahal Headlines Memorial Day Blues Festival in Centennial Park




Blues Giant Played With Rolling Stones; 
Wrote Film Score for Cicely Tyson Movie Sounder


Nashville, TN --- National blues giant and multiple Grammy winner Taj Mahal will be the headline act at the 2013 annual Memorial Day Blues Festival in Centennial Park. To date, Taj Mahal will be the most prominent blues musician to play this free Memorial Day festival.  Record attendance will be expected in Centennial Park on West End Avenue to hear this musical treasurer perform.

The day-long event will begin at 10AM on Memorial Day, May 27 with Taj Mahal 

Taj Mahal, is an American Grammy Award winning blues musician who often incorporates elements of world music into his music. A self-taught singer-songwriter and film composer who plays the guitar, banjo and harmonica (among many other instruments),[2] Mahal has done much to reshape the definition and scope of blues music over the course of his almost 50 year career by fusing it with nontraditional forms, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa and the South Pacific.  Taj Mahal, his stage name, came to him in dreams about Gandhi, India, and social tolerance. He started using it in 1959[10] or 1961[7]—around the same time he began attending the University of Massachusetts. 

Carol Jenkins, head of New Hope Foundation, sponsor of the Memorial Day Blues Festival, said: “This is a major coup for the Foundation and for Nashville. We are delighted to bring this national and international blues great to Music City. Metro Parks is excited we have such a major celebrity coming to town for our fifth year of free concerts in Centennial Park for Nashvillians.”

Mahal has worked with other blues musicians like Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Muddy Waters.  Mahal was with Columbia Records when he began his solo career, releasing the self-titled Taj Mahal in 1968. During this time he worked with The Rolling Stones, with whom he has performed at various times throughout his career. In 1968, he performed in the film The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. Later, with Warner Bros. Records recorded three albums, one was another film score for 1977's Brothers.

Parks Director Tommy Lynch said, “It is certainly an honor for Metro Parks to co-sponsor with The new Hope Foundation in presenting this outstanding music event to kick off the summer season.” 

In 1997 he won Best Contemporary Blues Album for Señor Blues at the Grammy Awards, followed by another Grammy for Shoutin' in Key in 2000.[14] He performed the theme song to the children's television show Peep and the Big Wide World, which began broadcast in 2004.

Taj Mahal once said he prefers to do outdoor performances, noting: "The music was designed for people to move, and it's a bit difficult after a while to have people sitting like they're watching television. That's why I like to play outdoor festivals-because people will just dance.”

No doubt the people attending this special event in Centennial Park will respond accordingly.