Grammy nominated Jai Uttal (2002 Mondo Rama) is a pioneer in the world of music community with his eclectic east meets west sound. His newest album and eleventh studio release "Queen of Hearts" is a unique mixture of reggae, ska, and samba rhythms, used as a backdrop for call and response, dance-oriented Kirtan, and invoking Queen Radha (Radharani), the bestower of devotion.
About the sound, Jai says "I went for the old school reggae and ska approach, rather then the dubby reggae that a lot of people are doing….there is more guitar oriented chants but all the songs also have Indian percussion to bring the feel back home, so to speak. A horn section rounds things out nicely. I've always loved reggae and everything I do is sort of Indian....more and more my Kirtans have been reflecting the Vaishnava moods of devotion (Radha, Krishna, Gopala, Sita Ram, Hanuman..)."
Recorded in California, the eight track album was written and produced by Uttal alongside his longtime collaborator Ben Leinbach. Jai will tour internationally this summer through the end of the year and adds "World music is music from everywhere. Music that creates bridges. Music that unites hearts and cultures. Music that brings peace."
With more than 90k albums sold throughout his career, press from around the world have lauded Jai’s has been lauded in the press from music including Yoga Journal, Yoga International, LA Yoga, Common Ground plus more. His first Nutone release,Thunder Love, displayed his skill not only as a vocalist and interpreter of Sanskrit mantras, but also his ability as an English-speaking songwriter. Performing on guitars, banjo, bass, dotar, harmonium, keyboards and harmonica, among many other instruments, Uttal fused elements of Americana, roots, jazz, Brazilian and electronic music to create his own unique world sound.
About the sound, Alan di Perna (Guitar World, Yoga Journal) said "I'd put this disc in a class with Byrne and Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts or Paul Simon's Graceland. It's like you've got the whole universe onto one CD... you've found a way to subsume the vast ocean of N. Indian devotional music into the equally vast continent of Brazilian rhythms.”
In the last few years, chanting has brought him around North America and Europe, Israel, Fiji, Brazil, and India this year will include select shows broadcast live on the web with his newly launched website “BhaktiCast”. On touring Jai adds, "World music is music from everywhere. Music that creates bridges. Music that unites hearts and cultures. Music that brings peace."