Taj Mahal has played a vital role in the preservation of blues since the mid 60’s. During the last 40 years, Mahal has mastered his talents in slide guitar, southern blues, soul, finger-picking country blues, bluegrass banjo, R & B, reggae, Latin, West African and Caribbean. His influences and abilities are seemingly endless and his energy to share and perform is equally as deep. He made his first mark to the musical scene when he and Ry Cooder co-founded The Rising Sons. This quickly earned Mahal a contract that landed him a self-titled debut. He has since recorded 39 albums and earned six Grammy nominations and one Grammy award for his 1997 release of "Senor Blues." While living on Kauai for 12 years, Mahal expanded his musical diversity even further to include Hawaiian. On his 37th album, "Sacred Island’, Mahal masterfully handles vocals, Dobro and harmonica boosting the island credibility with such stellar sidemen as ukelele player Pat Crockett and slack-key guitarists Wayne Jacinto and Carlos Andrare. But this is just is just a sample of his diversity. In addition, Taj plays over 20 instruments, speaks five languages and has composed for film soundtracks and made many screen appearances in major motion pictures. Some of his diverse projects include playing with a host of musicians in a critically acclaimed 1999 KULANJAN collaboration with West African kora master Toumani Diabat.
Jimmie Dale Gilmore raised in the West Texas town of Lubbock, has responded earliest to the honky-tonk brand of country music that his father played as a bar-band guitarist. Further influenced by Buddy Holly and Roy Orbinson, Texans as well, he followed the genre of folk and blues revivals. His essential elements are unremarkable; the tonal variations of the human voice and the plucked guitar string. And those simple elements are arranged according to familiar patterns--folk, blues, country, rock and roll. But Gilmore's music emits its own sort of light, a luminosity that renders the musically commonplace elusive, alluring and resonant. It is the sort of quality which led one Rolling Stone writer to describe the contents of Gilmore's latest album, Spinning Around the Sun, as "songs (which) defer to no one and nothing but the desolate beauty of his own music." For two straight years he earned Grammy nominations for Best Contemporary Folk Artist for his 1993 Spinning Around the Sun and 1996’s Braver Newer World.
Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater built in 1895 in the tradition of the great European opera houses, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1991. For over 100 years the Pabst Theater has boasted an opulent Baroque interior, includes an Austrian chandelier, a staircase crafted from Italian Carrara marble and a proscenium arch, highlighted in gold leaf, framing the stage offering the best theater comfort, sight, and sound.