Blues legend Taj Mahal (1942, real name: Henry St. Clair Fredericks) has been a music professional for over fifty years now. His father was a jazz pianist, composer and arranger, his mother sang gospel. He adopted his stage name when he was still in college, and founded his first band in the 1960s: Taj Mahal & The Elektras. But his love for blues runs very deep. Although Mahal has in later years researched wide-ranging genres like reggae, folk, jazz, gospel, R&B, Latin and even Hawaiian music, he never strayed far from the familiar, lazy, country-blues style. In doing so he has played a huge role in the vitality and preservation of traditional, acoustic blues. Mahal has played at North Sea Jazz three times before, but that was long ago: in 1979, 1981 and 1998. The festival welcomes him back enthusiastically and awaits a long-overdue lesson in authentic blues.