Henry St. Clair Fredericks Jr., better known by his stage name Taj Mahal, is a world-renowned American blues musician. Henry chose the name Taj Mahal for the stage from his dreams about the Taj Mahal, Mahatma Gandhi, India and social tolerance. He started using his stage name Taj Mahal in 1959.He plays guitar, piano, banjo, harmonica and many other instruments and often incorporates elements of world music into his work. Mahal has done much during his career of more than 50 years to reshape the definition and scope of blues music by fusing it with non-traditional forms including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa, India, Hawaii and the South Pacific
Despite attending a vocational agriculture school, becoming a member of the national FFA organization, and majoring in animal husbandry and veterinary science and agricultural science, Mahal decided to pursue music instead of farming. In college, he led a rhythm and blues band called Taj Mahal and The Elektras. He was also part of a duo with Jessie Lee Kincaid, before leaving for the US West Coast.