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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (3) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 17 May 1942New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameHenry Saint Clair Fredericks
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Taj Mahal was born on May 17, 1942 in New York City, New York, USA as Henry Saint Clair Fredericks.

Trivia (3)

Brother of singer/actress Carole Fredericks
Daughter, Yasmeen Mahal Montgomery, was tragically killed in a car crash in May of 2001
Designated the official Blues Artist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on 8 February 2006.

Personal Quotes (5)

I enjoy music wherever it's coming from. I don't care if it's somebody else's song. Most of the time you'll find that I'll put my own stamp on it. But I started writing more because, you know, it's easy to regurgitate what somebody else is doing, but it's exciting to be able to come up with your own.
The common musical language of my parent's generation was jazz but I'm the result of something that came about between my mother's American southern roots and my father's Caribbean background. I was born in the early 1940s on a 45-degree angle, headed towards education, civil rights and much more understanding of African-Americans' place in the African diaspora.
I didn't fit into a particular category. I tried for years to fit into what everybody else was doing and became completely frustrated. I thought there was something wrong with me, but actually there was something right. The whole point is to find our own road and not follow everybody else like some fashion monkey - and to feel lucky that that your music doesn't sound the same every time you play it.
[on his looking beyond conventional tastes toward new interpretations] Red is not the only color in a stained-glass window. It's about the tradition moving forward under its own agenda.
[on dealing with traumas in his life] You had to get over the bad stuff and get on with life, but I had a long memory. I came to see it as a message from my ancient culture in Mali, West Africa: that I could be a griot [storyteller] and put it to work in the right place. That's what I finally did.

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