A pioneer in the world music community, Jai Uttal has led kirtans worldwide for more than 30 years. His musical roots embrace a rich variety of cultures and traditions that span the globe and the centuries. From the hillbilly music of the Appalachian mountains to the passionate strains of Bengali street singers, from the haunting rhythms and melodies of ancient India to contemporary electric rock sounds, Uttal’s music distills the essence of diverse musical forms.
Early in his career, Uttal made regular pilgrimages to India, singing with kirtan wallahs in the temples of his guru Neem Karoli Baba, and studying with Ali Akbar Khan and master teacher Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Upon returning to the United States, he formed the Pagan Love Orchestra, which gained international prominence with the release of several critically acclaimed albums, including Footprints and Thunder Love. Uttal’s subsequent recordings continue to be prolific and widely praised. They include the Grammy-nominated Mondo Rama and Bhakti Bazaar.
What People are Saying About Jai Uttal
“[Jai Uttal] is one of the most extraordinary spiritual chanters and ecstatic singers of our time. His music transforms the hearts of all who listen.”
—Jack Kornfield, founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center
“When I get off the plane, whether I’m arriving in New Delhi or returning to New York, I say to myself, ‘I’m home.’ Home East, home West: Jai Uttal’s musical heart is at home in either idiom. He could be called what Karl Jung termed a ‘gnostic intermediary,’ an ambassador between the two cultures.”
—Ram Dass, author of the spiritual classic, Be Here Now
”Jai is a shaman with wings big enough to carry all of us to ecstasy. Singing with him is a transcendental train to everywhere you ever wanted to go; all you have to do is sit there, surrender and let your song rock.”
—Gabrielle Roth, creator of The 5Rhythms™ dance practice