The Harlem-born musical legend and special guest Leyla McCalla will present two evenings of music and discussion at the Provincetown Playhouse and livestreamed on YouTube March 27-28

Musician Taj Mahal looks to his right in a portrait taken in 2008
Bluesman Taj Mahal joins students and faculty for discussions and performances March 27-28. (Photo by Jay Blakesberg)


Blues musician Taj Mahal – the 2022-23 Americana Artist in Residence at NYU Steinhardt – will give two performances during a New York City visit that also includes appearances at classes with students and faculty.

The legendary bluesman and Grammy winner will perform with Americana musician and Steinhardt graduate Leyla McCalla in 71 Generations: A Musical Exploration of the Griot and Pan-African Traditions March 27 at 8 p.m. at the Provincetown Playhouse, 133 MacDougal St. in Greenwich Village. Moderated by Krystal Klingenberg, curator of music at the National Museum of American History, the performance and discussion will explore the origins of what is now called “roots music,” and how it has influenced American artists for more than 100 years. The event will be livestreamed here.

McCalla and Mahal return to the Provincetown Playhouse March 28 at 8 p.m. for The Music That Made Me: Song Swap, a performance and discussion that will feature some Steinhardt songwriting students. It will be livestreamed here.

The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development named the bluesman its 2022-23 Americana Artist-in-Residence in the fall. This month’s activities were originally scheduled for October.

Mahal succeeds Rosanne Cash, the inaugural Americana Artist-in-Residence in 2021-22. The residence is a partnership between Steinhardt and the Americana Music Association Foundation to foster the music’s heritage and preserve its legacy.

Mahal has won three Grammy Awards, including the Best Contemporary Blues Award for TajMo, his 2017 collaboration with Keb’ Mo’. A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and composer, he has recorded dozens of records, earned 14 Grammy nominations and has been inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. His latest record, Savoy, pays tribute to the swinging jazz of the big band era. A collaboration with acclaimed record producer John Simon, it will be released April 28.

McCalla is a Haitian-American multi-instrumentalist based in New Orleans. She co-founded Our Native Daughters with Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah and Allison Russell, and she played the cello for Grammy-award-winning string band, The Carolina Chocolate Drops. She is the recipient of a 2023 Amistad/Rivers Artist Research Residency in New Orleans. Her latest record is Breaking the Thermometer.

About NYU Steinhardt

Located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit

About the Americana Music Foundation (AMF)

The Americana Music Foundation (AMF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational and charitable organization, was founded to preserve Americana music through education. The Foundation endeavors to strengthen understanding, awareness and appreciation of cultural heritage, to shine a light on inspiration, and to promote the capacity and engagement of future creators. The foundation accomplishes this mission through educational programs, musical performances and public events.


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