An Evening with Taj Mahal Quartet

One of the most prominent and influential musicians of blues and roots music brings heart and soul to the stage. Taj Mahal Quartet will perform at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

A self-taught singer and songwriter, Taj Mahal plays the guitar, banjo and harmonica, among other instruments. His decades of recording and touring have nearly singlehandedly reshaped the definition and scope of the blues. He has accomplished this with the infusion of exotic sounds from around the world. His global fusion approach weaves in reggae, Caribbean, Cajun, R&B, West African folk, jazz, calypso, traditional country blues and Hawaiian slack key.

At the 13th Annual Americana Honors and Awards, the two-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, film composer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist was feted with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance.

“What inspires me most about my career,” says Mahal, “is that I’ve been able to make a living playing the music that I always loved and wanted to play since the early ’50s. I am extremely lucky to have fans who have listened to the music I choose to play and have stayed with me for 50 years. It’s very exciting, to say the least.”

As in ancient culture, he adds, the people are as much a part of the performance as the music. “Live communication through music—oh yeah, it’s right up there with oxygen!”

JESSICA CALDWELL

For Additional Information

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts

360.753.8586

washingtoncenter.org

A Rich Array of Cultural Selections This Fall

Musical legends. Shakespeare in the theater. Christmas with Sherlock Holmes. These are just some of the live music and theater offerings that abound in the South Sound this fall.

A lineup of musical legends and tribute performances will get you out of your seats and dancing in the aisles. October begins with the awe-inspiring production We Will Rock You. Based on the songs of Queen, the story follows two revolutionaries, Galileo and Scaramouche, on a quest to save rock-and-roll in a post-apocalyptic world (Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, Oct. 1.)

After thousands of rollicking performances and the global success of La Bamba, Los Lobos is still jamming with the same raw intensity (Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 1; Federal Way PAEC, Oct. 5).

A Roy Orbison tribute band, The Lonely, will be celebrating the timeless hits of The Traveling Wilburys and Everly Brothers(Washington Center, Nov. 8).

Cool days will stay hot with great American jazz, blues and folk. The Simon and Garfunkel Story chronicles the journey of the legendary folk-rock duo. The nostalgic and immersive concert-style theater show includes a full live band (Washington Center, Oct. 10).

The Duke Ellington Orchestra celebrates the legacy of one of the most influential musicians in American music (Pantages Theater, Nov. 2). And Taj Mahal brings his heart and soul to the stage with traditional country blues and Afrocentric roots music (Washington Center, Nov. 20).

South Sound theater lovers can choose from a wide range of selections this fall. Tacoma Arts Live will present Shakespeare in Love, a stage version of the hit movie about the Bard’s quest to overcome his writer’s block (Theater on the Square, Oct. 13 to Nov. 7).

Evil Dead: The Musical includes both scares and laughs—and musical numbers such as Ode to an Accidental Stabbing (Tacoma Little Theatre, Oct. 25 to Nov. 10).

A new twist for the holiday season is Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol, by Seattle writer, director and playwright John Longenbaugh (Harlequin, Nov. 27 to Dec. 10).

Rounding things out for a holiday to remember are the Herdmans invading Lakewood for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Lakewood Playhouse, Nov. 29 to Dec. 23). And Elf: The Musical, the adaptation of Will Ferrell’s cinematic twist on Christmas, will be performed at Tacoma Musical Playhouse (Nov. 29 to Dec. 22).

HILLARY RYAN