New York City – May 10, 2018 – Grammy nominated spiritual music pioneer Jai Uttal will perform his first New York City solo concert at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, 263 West 86th St., at 8pm on Saturday, June 16.
Stepping into a new and deeper level of vulnerability, Jai invites the audience into what he calls The Spirit Room, his solo acoustic concert, to share songs, instruments, kirtans, and stories from every phase of his inspiring musical and spiritual journey. From ecstatic love songs of the Bauls of Bengal, to dark banjo ballads of Appalachia, to the Bossa Nova kirtans on his 2017 release Roots, Rock, Rama! Jai promises an intimate heart space of communion, invocation and celebration. Tickets are $30-$65 in advance here.
A native New Yorker, Jai Uttal is a Grammy nominated sacred music composer, recording artist (20 albums to date!), multi-instrumentalist, and ecstatic vocalist, combining influences from India with elements from American rock and jazz, along with Jamaican reggae, Brazilian samba, and more, to create a stimulating and exotic multi-cultural fusion that is truly world spirit music. Having travelled extensively in India, where he met many great saints and singers, Bhakti Yoga became his personal path. Jai has been performing and teaching around the world for nearly 50 years, creating a safe environment for people to open their hearts and voices.
Jai is a favorite performer on the growing yoga festival circuit, playing to thousands each summer at Bhakti Fests and other events. He also leads his own workshops and retreats that deepen yogis’ practice of the heart based Bhakti yoga method, Kirtan, that is chanting the names of god to further enlightenment.
With a unique boomer upbringing in the NYC music biz of the 50s and 60s (as a child he was at the session where Mitch Ryder recorded “Devil With a Blue Dress”!) Uttal understands true musicianship and has worked with top musicians including Bill Laswell, Don Cherry, and his musical guru Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, throughout his career.
Additionally, his story flows with that of his generation – in the 70s he studied with Khan in the Bay Area while making extended trips to the Indian Ashram of Neem Karoli Baba the same guru who influenced Ram Dass’ classic Be Here Now. Maharajji, as the guru is known to his students, encouraged the practice of bhakti (devotional) yoga as expressed through kirtan, the call-and-response chanting of sacred names, over and over again until they become deeply instilled in the consciousness, providing an experience of profound peace and spiritual insight.
The 80s were dedicated to his music career which took off in 1990 with his first album Footprints that featured Don Cherry and other notables, launching him into the exploding world music scene. Now, marriage, fatherhood, a Grammy nomination, and 28 years of worldwide acclaim later this return to New York City for The Spirit Room acoustic solo show continues his legacy.