It’s been awhile since Xpress has spoken to Grammy-nominated chant artist and kirtan leader Jai Uttal. In ‘07, the musician — who grew up in New York and immersed himself in the study of the sarod and traditional Indian voice, training under master musician Ali Akbar Khan, as well as playing in Motown, punk and blues bands, infusing his songs with banjo and harmonica, Appalachian old-time and modern rock — told Xpress his main goal was “to keep working from my soul and my heart.” Read the full interview here.
He has lead kirtan (devotional chanting) around the world for more than 30 years, and has recorded 17 albums. Uttal returns to Asheville this weekend for a concert and workshop.
Concert: Saturday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m. Held at Ferguson Hall on the A-B Tech Campus. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.
Workshop: Sunday, Jan. 27, 1 p.m. Held at One Center Yoga, 120 Coxe Ave., Asheville. $75.
Check out this video for Uttal’s “Down on my KNees,” which blends the Hindu chant “Om Namah Shivaya ” with Robert Johnson’s blues song “Love in Vain”: