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Jai Uttal

Jai Uttal has played Motown songs in cover bands and busked for change on the streets. Both of those experiences have stood him in good stead for his musical career, which finds his music straddling the divide between world and new age. Born in New York City in 1952, Uttal grew up in the music business -- his father worked for a record label -- and at the age of seven he began piano lessons. Those were followed by banjo, guitar, and harmonica as Uttal began to discover American roots music, most especially the old-time banjo picking of Appalachian musician Roscoe Holcomb. But his true spiritual epiphany came when he was 17 and first heard Indian music, which "touched my heart like sounds of my home," he said. "Then I got all the Indian albums I could, and jammed along on guitar with Ravi Shankar records." His obsession became so great that at the age of 19 he headed for the West Coast, to study sarod and voice with the legendary Ali Akhbar Khan. Eighteen months after that he traveled even further -- to India itself, to experience the music and the culture first-hand. Renting a house in the Bengal city of Bhopur for $15 a month, he came to know singing street musicians the Bauls of Bengal, and started playing and traveling with them. On his return to the U.S., he became more diligent in his study of Indian music, while supporting himself by playing guitar in bands whose material ranged from Motown covers to punk to blues. His break came in 1991 when Triloka released his debut, Footprints, which included an appearance by jazz and world music innovator Don Cherry. With his band, the Pagan Love Orchestra, Uttal continued to mine spiritual, Indian-inflected music two years later on Monkey, which hit the Top Ten on the world music charts. Uttal also found himself producing his mentor, Khan, for two records, Journey and Garden of Dreams, which found the maestro working with a Western orchestra for the first time. Uttal's next release, 1994's Beggars and Saints was his tribute to the Bauls of Bengal, in thanks for his formative time in Bhopur. Three years later came Shiva Station, which was mixed by innovative producer Bill Laswell. After that he concentrated on touring with his band rather than recording. A compilation of his four Triloka albums appeared as Spirit Room in July 2000, shortly before the self-released Live Kirtan and Pagan Remixes, which, along with remixes of three Pagan Love Orchestra tracks, was comprised of chanting by Uttal recorded live in a yoga studio. It was followed by another remix EP, Guru Brahma/Malkouns, which included two cuts mixed by Asian Underground star Talvin Singh. ~ Chris Nickson, Rovi
full bio

Comments

The city of Bhopur. is not correct, its Bolpur..
jshpet111
awesome !
I met Jai years ago, we had much in common due to our NYC background, I didn't even know he was a musician. I heard his music and have become a follower ever since. His music for me is grounding and gives me a spiritual sense of Oneness..
musach
My addiction to Jai will die with me. His musical ability to make me feel such love, is so so pure. I am blessed to call Jai FRIEND/BROTH E R . JAI MA!
Hare Om Jai, I look forward to meeting you one day.
No one applauds the bus driver for getting us where we want to go.
doctormenke
Jai rocked the Beloved Music and Arts Festival with call / response SWEET LOVE
Namaste Jai, thank you for touching my soul! :)
Mysoul music. Thanks Jai!
Favorite song ever: Durga Pahimam. What an incredible vocalist.
This music moves me like no other. Namaste.
My first Kirtan was lead by Jai Uttal, and to this day I have never experienced such as transcendent experience. His music is a true blessing.
I had the pleasure spending sometime with Jai years back. I found him to be an insightful and extremely talented individual.. . His music is always still a joy...
Beautiful music! Both Jai Uttal and Krishna Das are very talented Musicians with an East Indian Flair!
mindblowing
no richard we dont not at all we need more phycobillie
florie.johns o n
Jai Uttal moves my soul. I love his music and thank him from the bottom of my heart for it.
premdas99
True Soul to Soul
I love this cat- he is so cool - this music really swings and I love his use of hindu chanting - we need more of this kind of music - jaya sri krsna indeed.
Love this song.... takes me back.
thank you E.& Hanuman
<3 Hari bol!
heard himmm 1x @ the Monterey World music feast. his sound went out into the crowd and opened hearts, you could see it,Shiva!!!! !
denise2gant
listening to this music pleases me immensely!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
soozenlee
Jai Uttal!!! Love him truly.
jdahn7
I can't get enough of Jai Uttal.
Love Jai Uttal!
I'd like to get more Jai... am I missing something ?
dadogma
I'm here, wanting to hear Jai Uttal.
jai uttal, please
paulbolden
Yes, I want more of Jai Uttal - his albums
this artist is ok, but i want to listen to jai uttal.
Why can't i get jai uttal ????
thank you
nitto

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