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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

welcome to the Garaj memorial blog.

Hello fans, friends and family of Garaj Mahal.

To leave a comment, click on "new post" at top right corner of page.  

I can't believe we are no longer touring.  Feels strange after 1000 gigs.  If you don't know the story, go to our homepage and click on "story".    We are now at:
 I am hoping over time some folks will swing by to say hello and share some cool memories of the combo.
Would love to start. But after setting up this blog I am wiped.  It's 4 am.

Bye for now.   Kai


  1. First, Kai, thank you for all that you and the other guys do and continue to do in the music world. It's truly enlightening and a superb model for those of us aspiring to be full-time musicians. Even for non-musicians, your musical careers show others how important it is to do what you love.

    Second, thank you for taking the time and allowing us the opportunity to read in great detail what happened with the band. I discovered Garaj Mahal from a Homegrown music sampler, and immediately had to seek you guys out. In fact, you were the only band that sounded truly unique to me at that time. I listened to your live albums and anxiously awaited new releases. My friends and I turned selected live numbers into mandatory pre-game music for going out, and every musician I came in contact with heard about what I believed you were trying to do.

    I only saw you guys twice: both at the Charleston Pour House in Charleston, SC. The first with Alan and the second with Sean. We requested "Semos" when Sean was there and you guys talked it over and informed us that this was the first time he'd played it with the band. Both shows were so unlike any other shows I'd seen.

    I'm sad to see this happen to you guys. It's always so complicated the reasons why a band breaks up, especially a good band. We'll keep supporting your individual efforts, and maybe someday we'll cross paths on the bandstand.

    Yours in the groove,

  2. Dear Garaj Mahal,

    Words can not express how difficult it is for me to see this band evaporate. Your music always stirred something deep in my soul, causing pure joy to bubble up, over, and out. I was one of those dirty hippies dancing wildly to your complex, mind-boggling grooves. It was music like I had never heard before and it saddens me to think I may never hear it again.

    From 2001 - 2006 I was at every show in Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky and I always felt blessed that you guys played so often in those states (since they ARE close to Chi-town). I moved away in 2006 to a place you never play and was disappointed, but at least I have your CDs. I told everyone I knew of your music, gave live recordings to friends and random strangers at festivals, but you might be right - your music is over some people's heads.

    I do remember one festival fondly. At Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival in Kentucky, I told some people that they did NOT want to miss your set. They hadn't heard of you, but they were intrigued by my description (and enthusiasm!). Later that night I was dancing at your set and a guy ran up to me, equally enthused, and said "These guys are AMAZING! Best set of the festival, by far! Thanks for letting me know I shouldn't miss it."

    Good luck to you all. The world truly would be a better place if more people could comprehend your music and your vision. The world may not have known you, but I did, and I am thankful for it.

    You will be missed,


  3. thank you all for your sacrifices in the name of MUSIC and CREATIVITY.

    your music touched more people in more ways than you will ever know. be very proud!

    can't wait to see kai's new project. keep teaching us kai!


  4. i love you and miss all you guys sooooo much! love

  5. Sorry to hear, I have a deep interest in arts entreprenuership and music hybridization. I hope the band lives on online here forever.


  6. My favorite band, my favorite human beings, such a HUGE and IMPORTANT and FUN time of my life for soooo many years, my world will NEVER be the same, soooooo sad it's over, but sooooooo happy to have experienced it, and excited to see each of you doing other amazing musical things, looooove you soooooo very much!

    tina in seattle

  7. MUCH LOVE FROM CANADA! Thank You!!!

  8. Thank you, dear friends and family for some heartfelt words. I still miss Garaj Mahal and it will never be the same. Sometimes I had moments where I felt that I was crazy for believing for so long in the 'abstract truth' with all the ferocious intensity. Hearing your words makes me realize I am not the only crazy one! Thank you again. Subsequently I am brewing up the next incarnation of a free-funk-alien meets human multi-culti mothership. We are already gigging in the Bay Area and will come out into the world soon. Look out for the Kai Eckhardt Zeitgeist! keep it funky :)

  9. Yeah man thanks for the band update on what happened. I caught you guys in Charlotte NC a couple of times and still listen all the time in the car. Shame it didn't pay better and Alan had to leave. Damn, Mondo Garaj track is a classic, it's not even funny how many times I've listened to it back to back. Onward and upward, Justin. Woot!

  10. My G*d...

    You guys rocked it so frickin' hard. Sad to think you never got your day in the sun. Maybe you were travelling too fast for numbed senses of the hoi polloi to catch.

    I guess what you really needed was a Beverly Hills publicist.

  11. Hey Kai, Drove 3 hours to go listen to you guys play at a local bar in Hood River, Oregon. It was around 2004. My lady and I had arrived early and found a booth next to the stage. As people started trickling in, you pulled up a chair next to our table and plugged your bass into one of those pig nose practice amps. For the next 10 minutes or so, you warmed up by playing this tranquil chordal strumming. All the while, we sat there listening to you enjoying the moment, thinking how lucky we were.
    Needless to say, the show was great and the audience was into it, but for me, I will always remember that 10 minutes you sat there warming up with your pig nose amp.

    1. hello there, thank you for the nice comment and for driving 6 hours (back an forth to see us play!) ...Life is interesting that way, sometimes one doesn't know when another person is appreciative of what one is doing....It is a great analogy to many things in life that are beautiful without trying to be's all in the eye of the beholder ! wishes Kai

  12. Saw you guys so many times in Vancouver. The Meters meet Mahavishnu I always thought. Legendary music really. So many good memories. Thanks for those and the music that endures. Hope that one day circumstances allow it all to happen again.

  13. dammit garaj. hate to see you go. got to see you twice at shwagstock in Missouri. You signed the blueberry cave cd for me. i'm not sure the hippy crowd there really understood what your music was all about, but i was entranced and hooked forever. I loved your music because it was so funky, (hertz and kai) and because it was new and different. I think Garaj Mahal really blazed it's own trail and really was a genre all in it's own because it combined so many aspects of other genres but still created a sound all it's own. In a world where most people have no ability to appreciate music if it doesn't fit a certain mold, you guys stayed true and played from the heart. It's a real downer that it's over, but don't forget, you'll never know how big an impact you made by exploring the unknown with your music. Thanks again!!

  14. I was lucky enough to see Garaj Mahal a number of times up and down the west coast. I truly felt this group was very special and am honored to have had the chance to see you all perform as much as I did. Thank you all for countless memories and amazing music. Kai - thanks for putting together this retrospective site. Browsing through pictures and reading your history of the band was a great trip down memory lane.

    All the best going forward to everyone -


  15. I booked you guys in Aberdeen, South Dakota in 2008. You guys killed it. I've seen many musicians, but damn, I was blown away that night. Not to mention that you guys were also really cool. I remember ending the night with a crew member, Fahreed, myself, and a few friends at the local truck stop cafe. We laughed and talked about music, life, and everything in between. Thank you for the music and for being inspirational, I listen to your stuff all the time and it really motivates me to be bold and unique.

  16. Tried so hard to get GM to Minneapolis. Man, I love your music.
    Please come back!

  17. Garaj was an incredibly talented, ambitious, and exciting band. Spinning the 4.10.2005 Blind Melon show currently. Seven cows jumpung over the moon. Wow! Your music lives on and continues to bring much joy. The shows were epic. I always loved Kai's banter too. Such sweetness. Thank you. Your efforts brought much inspiration and beauty into the world.

  18. Thank you so much Marc, it means a lot. We were just a snapshot in time, but a good moment for creative music I think...
    You may want to check out my new album...

    All the best to you and yours, Kai

  19. Damn, you guys were really good. I would see you every time you came to Portland. I got to know Theresa well. I thought you guys were just as good if not better than the Steve Kimock Band who was my main squeeze at the time. Kai, I always thought your sound would have fit with Kimock really well and wondered why you guys never jammed together much beyond that one Christmas in 1999.

    I still listen to your stuff and love the hell out of it. I'm a bass player too and always appreciated you speaking with me about playing, tone, funk, etc. I was actually at your last (unofficial) show you guys played in Seattle at this little warehouse on the south end. It was private party or something in October 2011. I had just moved there from Portland to go to grad school last UW. Very few people there but I had a great time and you guys rocked. Sorry to see you guys go. Kai, I hope you're still jamming, if we lived in the same town I'd ask for lessons :) Take care.

  20. Well let me say first Garaj Mahal was one of the greatest bands ever formed. Your music is amazing to say the least and will live on forever. Its like they say the brightest stars burn out the fastest and you better look while you can.
    I first saw you in NC at Smilefest in 2004 and you guys played from like 1-5am, it was amazing. I saw you a second time in Memphis at the Hi Tone in 2006. It was a great show as well.
    When I started listening to you guys, MMW, Kimock, and P Groove it changed how I played drums as well as how I heard music in general.
    See that is what bands like Garaj Mahal do, they change your life for the better. And for all of us in the know, we had the pleasure of hearing your music and we thank you.

  21. Don't call it a comeback. We been here for years. See you guys in BC.