Grammy-nominated Jai Uttal is a kirtan artist, multi-instrumentalist, and ecstatic vocalist. He is a pioneer in the world music community, influenced by both Indian music and American rock and jazz. Jai has been leading, teaching, and performing world music and kirtan — the ancient yoga of chanting or singing to God — around the world for close to 50 years, creating a safe environment for people to open their hearts and voices.
Growing up in New York City, he lived in a home filled with music. He began studying classical piano at the age of seven, and later learned to play old-time banjo, harmonica, and guitar. At age 17, he heard Indian music for the first time; two years later he moved to California and studied under the famous sarod player, Ali Akbar Khan. Jai later began taking regular pilgrimages to India, living among the wandering street musicians of Bengal, and singing with the kirtan wallahs in the temple of his guru, Neem Karoli Baba. He has released 20 highly acclaimed CDs, the latest being the double album, Roots, Rock, Rama!
Jai has emerged as a leading influence in the Western Bhakti movement. He considers Bhakti Yoga to be the core of his musical and spiritual life.