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 blues and gospel 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 an undergraduate stint at MSU that placed him on stage with jazz luminaries Peter Bernstein, Christian McBride, Jimmy Cobb and more) he made the pilgrimage to backbeat-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 1000-capacity 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 or contemporary groove gurus Eric “Benny” Bloom & Nigel Hall of Lettuce—is a testament to a sound and sensitivity far beyond his 23 years.
Now a staple on the scene, Teitel is found with a variety of the city’s finest musicians, including legends like Tony Hall (Dumpstaphunk/Neville Bros), Papa Mali (Bill Kreutzman's 7 Walkers), Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Brad Walker (Sturgill Simpson/PJ Morton), Greg Agid, Daryl Johnson (Daniel Lanois/Neville Bros), Khris Royal (Rebelution/Dark Matter/Solange), John Michael Bradford, Jesse McBride Presents: The Next Generation, Alvin Ford Jr (Pretty Lights/PJ Morton/Dumpstaphunk), Jamison Ross (Snarky Puppy) and Terence Higgins (Ani DiFranco/Dirty Dozen). A cut above—fresh and fearless—he plays with equal parts focus and reckless abandon, wearing an ecstatic expression to match his searing tone.