GRAMMY nominated Ari Teitel began his career at 11 years old on stage sitting in with Robert Randolph at the Michigan Theater in his hometown of Detroit. Hoisted up on chair by the sacred steel legend, he floored an audience of thousands with a guitar solo of unexpected maturity and grace. Since then his star has continued to rise.
Leading a band in Detroit by age 12, Ari immersed himself in the musical heritage of the city. Studying and adhering to the tradition with the deepest respect, he performed alongside practitioners at the highest level such as fusion legends Ralphe Armstrong (Mahavishnu Orchestra) & Allan Barnes (Blackbyrds), soul-blues diva Thornetta Davis, GRAMMY Award-winning gosepl artist Karen Clark-Sheard, and blues guitarist Larry McCray. Still, unafraid to blend styles and use his own expression to move the music forward, Teitel recorded a record of all-original music. Employing his mentors in the Detroit funk vanguard The Mighty Funhouse, he is free to open up his soulful vocals and rock-solid guitar work. Trustworthy and consistent as a studio veteran but unabashed as a breakout soloist and songwriter, Ari manifests his love for the music on Unteiteled, the debut 8-track all-analog record.
In 2016, poised to emerge as a force on the instrument after graduating from Michigan State, he made the pilgrimage to American-music mecca New Orleans, Louisiana. Widely acclaimed as the spiritual home of jazz, funk, R&B, soul and gospel, the city has quickly welcomed this versatile vocalist and guitarist. He is equally comfortable shredding in front of a sold-out crowd at Tipitina's as he is laying back in the pocket, face-to-face with an intimate, sweaty crowd at the Maple Leaf Bar. His regular presence at these legendary venues—either leading bands or rocking alongside NOLA-sacred acts like Mardi Gras Indian Funk band Cha Wa (with whom he earned a GRAMMY nomination and acts as musical director) or contemporary groove gurus Eric “Benny” Bloom & Nigel Hall of Lettuce—is a testament to a sound and sensitivity far beyond his 24 years.
Now a staple on the scene, Teitel has recorded or performed with PJ Morton, Iggy Pop, Mononeon, Cyril Neville, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, George Porter Jr, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Nicholas Payton, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Davell Crawford, Herlin Riley, Papa Mali, Quiana Lynell, Roosevelt Collier, Bill Summers (Herbie Hancock), Erica Falls, Russ Liquid, Adam Deitch, Alvin Ford Jr (Pretty Lights), and Jamison Ross (Snarky Puppy). A cut above—fresh and fearless—he plays with equal parts focus and reckless abandon, wearing an ecstatic expression to match his searing tone.