(Roster to come)
GEORGE MARINELLI, Guitar and Vocals
RICKY PETERSEN, Keyboards and Vocals
JAMES “HUTCH” HUTCHINSON, Bass and Vocals
RECHARD FATAAR, Drums and Percussion
Composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and nine-time Grammy nominee Taj Mahal is an influential figure in late-20th-century blues and roots music. Though his career began with American blues, he has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the world—West Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands and so much more. Born Henry St. Claire Fredericks in Harlem, Mahal grew up in Springfield, MA. While at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he adopted the musical alias of Taj Mahal and formed a band called the Elektras. After graduating he headed to Los Angeles, formed the Rising Sons and mingled with various blues legends, including Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Sleepy John Estes. This diversity of musical experience served as the bedrock for Mahal’s first three recordings: Taj Mahal (1967), The Natch’l Blues (1968) and Giant Step (1969). Subsequent recordings include Happy Just to Be Like I Am, Recycling the Blues and Other Related Stuff, the Grammy-nominated soundtrack to the movie Sounder, Mo’ Roots, Music Fuh Ya (Music Para Tu), Evolution, Taj, three celebrated children’s albums and the musical scores for the play Mule Bone and the movie Zebrahead. In the ’90s his collaboration with the Phantom Blues Band led to the Grammy-winning recordings Señor Blues and Shoutin’ in Key. During this same period Mahal continued to expand his multicultural horizons on the albums Mumtaz Mahal, Sacred Island and Kulanjan. He joined the Heads Up International label in 2008 with the release of Maestro. This is Taj Mahal’s third season at Ravinia Festival, where he debuted in 1996.
Born to a musical family, nine-time Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt is the daughter of Broadway singer John Raitt and pianist/singer Marge Goddard. Three years after entering college as a Harvard/Radcliffe student, Raitt left to commit herself full time to music, and shortly afterward found herself opening for giants of the blues. Warner Bros. signed her and in 1971 released her self-titled debut album. Three Grammy nominations followed in the 1980s for The Glow, Green Light and Nine Lives. In between sessions she devoted herself to playing benefits and speaking out in support of an array of worthy causes. After forging an alliance with Capitol Records, Raitt won four Grammy Awards in 1990—three for Nick of Time and one for her duet with John Lee Hooker on his album The Healer. Luck of the Draw (1991, seven-times platinum) brought even more success, adding three more Grammys to her shelf. In 2000 Raitt was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; this was followed by her welcome into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, along with her father, in 2001. All of her experiences led to Souls Alike, her first album to bear the credit “Produced by Bonnie Raitt.” It debuted at number 19 on the Billboard 200 in 2005, eliciting widespread critical acclaim. In 1988 she cofounded the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, which works to improve royalties, financial conditions and recognition for a whole generation of R&B pioneers, and in 1995 she initiated the Bonnie Raitt Guitar Project with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to encourage underprivileged youth to play music. This is Bonnie Raitt’s third season at Ravinia Festival, where she debuted in 2002.
Buy 2 pavilion tickets and you will be automatically entered to win a Ravinia Blues Prize Package. If you already purchased tickets, you will be entered to win too. One winner will be selected from each night to receive an autographed gift, t-shirts, poster and more!