Kabir Sehgal

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Kabir Sehgal
EducationThe Lovett School
Alma materDartmouth College (AB)
London School of Economics (MSc)
Occupationauthor, record producer, jazz musician, composer, investment banker, navy officer
AwardsGrammy Award
Latin Grammy Award
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Military career
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service2011–Present
UnitUS Navy Reserve

Kabir Sehgal is an American author, composer, producer, navy officer, military veteran, investment banker, and financial executive. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of eight books. He has also won two Grammy Awards and a Latin Grammy Award as a record producer. He was previously a vice president at JPMorgan Chase.[1][2][3]


Sehgal was born in Atlanta, Georgia and attended The Lovett School.[4][5] He attended Dartmouth College and was a staff columnist for the university newspaper The Dartmouth, bassist for the university jazz band, and a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.[6][7][8] He completed his postgraduate degree with distinction from the London School of Economics as a Reynolds Scholar.[9]


Sehgal works in corporate strategy at First Data Corporation, a global payments firm, which completed the largest initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2015.[10][11] Previously, Sehgal was a vice president at J.P. Morgan in the emerging markets equities group, where he helped place the Alibaba initial public offering, the largest in history.[12] He began his career by starting an online education company in India with a friend, but it failed.[2]

Literary career[edit]

His first book, Jazzocracy: Jazz, Democracy, and the Creation of a New American Mythology was published in 2008 by Better World Books.[13] Jazzocracy explores the relationship between jazz music and the concept of democracy. He drew upon his experiences serving on the John Kerry presidential campaign and touring with Grammy-winner Wynton Marsalis.[14] The book was later the inspiration for a university course at Baruch College.[15] The book later served as the basis for a TED Talk.[14]

In May 2010, Sehgal's Walk in My Shoes: Conversations between a Civil Rights Legend and his Godson on the Journey Ahead was published by Palgrave Macmillan.[16] The book is co-written by former Mayor of Atlanta Andrew Young, his godfather, who offers his thoughts on leadership, civil rights, love and faith, among other topics.[17] President Bill Clinton wrote the foreword to the book.[18]

Sehgal's book A Bucket of Blessings was published by Simon & Schuster on April 29, 2014 and reached the New York Times best sellers list.[1] A children's book, it chronicles the story of Monkey, a character who tries to bring water to his village at a time of drought, but fails when water leaks out of the bottom of his bucket on his journey. The foreword to the book was written by Maya Angelou.[19] The book was adapted for a stage production at the Alliance Theatre, which ran from January to February 2016.[20]

His book, Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us, was published on March 10, 2015 and was one of Business Insider's top 15 business books coming out in 2015.[21] It examines how and why money has come to play such a central role in everyday life.[22] Topics such as the neuroscience of money behavior and the archaeology of coinage are also examined from and anthropological and historical perspective.[23] With regard to digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Seghal writes in Coined that it is unlikely they will gain traction as an alternative to the U.S. dollar given U.S. government's power to determine what is a currency.[24]

In March 2015, Coined became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller.[25][26] The New York Times said of Coined, "If you've been waiting for an economic version of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' this may be it."[27] The Financial Times called Coined, "An eclectic and sometimes personal inquiry into the roots of finance takes in everything from Galápagos turtles to Apple Pay."[23]

His children's book The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk was published by Simon & Schuster in January 2016.[28] Publishers Weekly described the book as, "a wonderfully accessible introduction to daily life in another place."[29]

Kabir Sehgal wrote a book of poetry with Deepak Chopra, Home: Where Everyone is Welcome, which was published by Grand Central Publishing in August 2017. The book is composed of 34 poems inspired various American immigrants such as Albert Einstein and Madeleine Albright.[30] The book became a Publisher's Weekly bestseller.[31]

Simon & Schuster announced plans to publish Sehgal's children's book Thread of Love, which is about the Indian tradition of raksha bandhan, in 2018.[32] Simon & Schuster also announced plans to publish Sehgal's children's book Festival of Colors, which is about Holi, the Indian festival of colors in January 2018.[33]

Sehgal has also written for Foreign Policy, Harvard Business Review, MarketWatch, Newsweek, New York Observer, Quartz, Zero Hedge, Atlanta Business Chronicle, CNBC, Reader's Digest, Entrepreneur, Inc. and The Street and has appeared on CNN, PBS, NPR, Bloomberg, Fox News, CNBC, C-SPAN and Fusion.[34][35][36] He co-founded the journal of information systems at the London School of Economics.[37]

Music career[edit]

Sehgal is a jazz bassist, composer, and Grammy Award-winning producer.[38] He has produced albums for Deepak Chopra, Chucho Valdés, Arturo O'Farrill, Ted Nash, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Gabriel Alegria, Ben Allison, Pablo Ziegler, Gabriel Alegria, Emilio Solla, and Gregorio Uribe.[39] He has won two Grammys and a Latin Grammy as a producer. His productions have received ten nominations and five wins.[40][41][42][43]

He was the executive producer, producer, and liner notes author for The Offense of the Drum by Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. The album won the Grammy Award for the Best Latin Jazz Album and the 2015 Cubadisco for Best International Album.[44][45][46] It was also nominated for a Latin Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album.[47]

In December 2014, Sehgal and O'Farrill led a delegation to Havana to record Cuba: The Conversation Continues. The album was released in August 2015, with Sehgal serving as executive producer, liner notes author, and artistic producer.[48] The New York Times said that it was "an album worthy of its moment, an ambitious statement that honors deeply held musical traditions while pushing forward."[49] The album was voted Best Latin Jazz Album of the year by an NPR critics' poll and was nominated for the Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.[50][51] "The Afro Latin Jazz Suite" won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition.[52] Cuba: The Conversation Continues won the Latin Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album.[53]

Sehgal served as executive producer and artistic producer of Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom by the Ted Nash Big Band.[54] The album features several notable figures, such as Andrew Young, Glenn Close, and Sam Waterston reading speeches by former presidents. Sehgal wrote the liner notes with Douglas Brinkley. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.[55] JazzTimes said that during his acceptance speech, "Sehgal gracefully pushed back against the current administration." "While one president says, 'Build a wall,' " Sehgal said, "another said, 'Tear this wall down.'" In addition, a selection on the album "Spoken at Midnight" won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition.[56]

Sehgal served as the executive and artistic producer of Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico by Arturo O'Farrill & Chucho Valdés. He authored the liner notes and wrote a composition "Raja Ram" which features Grammy nominated sitarist Anoushka Shankar.[57] In 2017, a selection from the album "Three Revolutions" was nominated for a Grammy in Best Instrumental Composition.[58]

Sehgal served as the producer and liner notes author of Jazz Tango by Pablo Ziegler Trio, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2017.[58]


In 2006, Sehgal co-founded Music for Tomorrow (MFT), a non-profit organization that initially raised money to help musicians return to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.[59] Eventually, the organization became an online band booking service that people used to book jazz musicians in various cities across America while generating voluntary "tips" to help New Orleans-based charities.[59] In 2014, MFT merged with the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance.[60]

He serves on the advisory board of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.[61] He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[62]

Military service[edit]

Sehgal is an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He served on active duty with special operations in the Middle East and received a Defense Meritorious Service Medal.[63]


  • 2008 Jazzocracy: Jazz, Democracy, and the Creation of a New American Mythology
  • 2010 Walk in My Shoes: Conversations between a Civil Rights Legend and his Godson on the Journey Ahead
  • 2014 A Bucket of Blessings
  • 2015 Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us
  • 2016 The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk
  • 2017 Home: Where Everyone Is Welcome
  • 2018 Festival of Colors
  • 2018 Thread of Love

Selected discography[edit]

With Arturo O'Farill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

  • 2011: 40 Acres and a Burro (Associate Producer)
  • 2014: The Offense of the Drum (Executive Producer, Producer, Liner Notes)
  • 2015: Cuba: The Conversation Continues (Executive Producer, Producer, Liner Notes)

With others

  • 2015: 10 – Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet (Producer)
  • 2015: Cumbia Universal – Gregorio Uribe (Producer, Associate Producer, Liner Notes)
  • 2016: Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom – Ted Nash (Executive Producer, Producer)
  • 2016: Native Land – Gwen Hughes (Producer)[64]
  • 2016: Runaway Train – Joe Mulholland Trio (Executive Producer, Producer)
  • 2016: Shanti Samsara – Ricky Kej (Producer, Liner Notes)
  • 2016: Tributango – Emilio Solla (Executive Producer, Producer)
  • 2016: Carlos Barbosa-Lima Plays Mason Williams – Carlos Barbosa-Lima (Producer)[65]
  • 2017: Jazz Tango – Pablo Ziegler (Producer, Liner Notes)[66]
  • 2017: Layers of the City – Ben Allison (Executive Producer)[67]
  • 2017: Familia: Tribute to Bebo and Chico – Arturo O'Farill & Chucho Valdés (Executive Producer,

Producer, Liner Notes, Composer)[68]


  1. ^ a b Best Sellers The New York Times. February 10, 2015
  2. ^ a b Ruggieri, Melissa Rosanne Cash leads early Grammy wins; Lecrae, Beyonce, Glen Campbell also score The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. February 10, 2015
  3. ^ Andrew Young and Kabir Sehgal to give keynote address for the New Hampshire Humanities Council's Annual Dinner National Endowment for the Humanities. February 10, 2015
  4. ^ Dodd, D. Aileen Metro Atlanta's private schools offer variety in programs, personalities The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. February 10, 2015
  5. ^ [1] Lovett Magazine, Fall 2014. February 10, 2015
  6. ^ Donnelly, James Dartmouth sophomore Kabir Sehgal: Jazz virtuoso, entrepreneur and, now, Global Leader The Dartmouth. February 10, 2015
  7. ^ Givner, Sarah Barbary Coast bids fond farewell to its seniors The Dartmouth. February 10, 2015
  8. ^ Barnes, Lindsay Marsalis and Orchestra dazzle Spaulding crowd The Dartmouth. February 10, 2015
  9. ^ Silberman, Katie Crocker chosen as Rhodes Scholar The Dartmouth. February 10, 2015
  10. ^ Tully, Shawn Exclusive: How First Data reinvented itself to become 2015's biggest IPO Fortune. June 9, 2016
  11. ^ Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How its History Has Shaped Us Shakespeare and Company. June 9, 2016
  12. ^ Sehgal, Kabir 3 Things JPMorgan Chase Vice Chairman Jimmy Lee Taught Me The Street. September 4, 2015
  13. ^ Jazzocracy! April 25, 2008
  14. ^ a b "Jazz is democracy in sound". TedX Atlanta.
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ Dwyer, Devin Post-Racial America? Not Yet, Civil Rights Legend Andrew Young Says ABC News. February 10, 2015
  17. ^ Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young Shares Life Lessons With New Generation PBS NewsHour. February 10, 2015
  18. ^ What We're Reading, May 11-17 NPR. February 10, 2015
  19. ^ Catts, Everett UPDATED: Sandy Springs woman, son write children’s book Neighbor Newspapers. February 10, 2015
  20. ^ A Bucket of Blessings Alliance Theatre. September 4, 2015
  21. ^ 15 Of The Best Business Books Coming Out In 2015 Business Insider. February 10, 2015
  22. ^ Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us Publishers Weekly February 10, 2015
  23. ^ a b Rivoli, Petra ‘Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us’, by Kabir Sehgal The Financial Times. February 24, 2015
  24. ^ Underhill, Justine Goodbye dollar? Here's the currency of the future Yahoo! Finance. March 20, 2015
  25. ^ Best-Selling Books Week Ended March 15 Wall Street Journal. March 20, 2015
  26. ^ Best Sellers - Hardcover Nonfiction March 29, 2015 New York Times. March 20, 2015
  27. ^ Pressler, Jessica SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW: Coined by Kabir Sehgal New York Times. March 20, 2015
  28. ^ "The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk". Simon & Schuster.
  29. ^ The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk Publishers Weekly. September 4, 2015
  30. ^ Home a Unique Collection of Poems and Songs July 2, 2017
  31. ^ Juris, Carolyn. This Week's Bestsellers: September 11, 2017. Publisher's Weekly. September 8, 2017.
  32. ^ Rights Report: Week of April 24, 2017 April 25, 2017
  33. ^ Festival of Colors
  34. ^ Sehgal, Kabir. "This is your brain on money". MarketWatch.
  35. ^ Sehgal, Kabir The Real Reason for China’s Two-Child Policy: Millions of New Consumers Foreign Policy. June 9, 2016
  36. ^ What Happens to Your Brain When You Negotiate About Money Harvard Business Review. June 9, 2016
  37. ^ "iSChannel" (PDF). London School of Economics.
  38. ^ Kabir Sehgal AllMusic. February 10, 2015
  39. ^ Nash, Ted Late Summer Update Tednash.com. February 10, 2015
  40. ^ NOMINEES 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards The Latin Recording Academy. February 10, 2015
  41. ^ The 2014 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll NPR. February 10, 2015
  42. ^ "2017 Grammy Awards: Complete list of nominees". LA Times.
  44. ^ [3]
  45. ^ 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards Winners & Nominees Grammy.org. February 10, 2015
  46. ^ Cantor-Navas, Judy Cubadisco Music Fair Begins Its 18th Year Amidst a Much-Changed Atmosphere Billboard. September 4, 2015
  47. ^ Final Nominations List National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
  48. ^ Sehgal, Kabir How Musicians Are Helping to Normalize U.S.–Cuba Relations New York Observer. September 4, 2015
  49. ^ Chinen, Nate 'Cuba: The Conversation Continues' and 'Live in Cuba' Expand a Musical Dialogue New York Times. September 4, 2015
  50. ^ Davis, Francis The 2015 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll NPR. June 9, 2016
  51. ^ 2016 Grammy Awards: Complete list of winners and nominees Los Angeles Times. June 9, 2016
  52. ^ The Afro Latin Jazz Suite Wins Best Instrumental Composition National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
  53. ^ NOMINEES 17th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards
  54. ^ McGrath, Ben EVANDER 2.0 The New Yorker. September 4, 2014
  55. ^ Catts, Everett Lovett graduate wins Grammy for third straight year Marietta Daily Journal.
  56. ^ Dasl, Mohua Jazz composer sets Nehru's Tryst with Destiny to music, wins a Grammy Times of India.
  57. ^ Arturo O'Farrill & Chucho Valdes Announce New Album 'Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico'. Broadway World. July 28, 2017.
  58. ^ a b Grammys 2018: Complete list of nominees. Los Angeles Times. November 28, 2017.
  59. ^ a b Cole, Patrick. "Hedge Fund Trader Charity Finds Musician Gigs at Google". Bloomberg.
  60. ^ "Afro Latin Jazz Alliance Merges with Music for Tomorrow, Uniting Two Standout Music Nonprofits". Afro Latin Jazz Alliance.
  61. ^ NYU Stern Advisory Council New York University. June 9, 2016
  62. ^ Membership Roster (as of February 24, 2017) Council on Foreign Relations.
  63. ^ "How to Write Email with Military Precision". HBR.
  64. ^ Native Land Zoho Music. June 9, 2016
  65. ^ Carlos Barbosa-Lima plays Mason Williams Zoho Music. June 9, 2016
  66. ^ Jazz Tango, Pablo Ziegler
  67. ^ Ben Allison - Layers of the City
  68. ^ Tribute to Bebo & Chico by Arturo O’Farrill & Chucho Valdés August 2, 2017

External links[edit]