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Pascal Bokar

Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam aka Pascal Bokar in the music world is releasing is new CD entitled "American Shores". The Paris, France, native who grew up in Segou, Mali and Dakar, Senegal calls this new musical style AFRO BLUE GRAZZ. It is a blend of West African rhythms and percussion with the sounds of the banjo and fiddle in a Jazz, R&B and Gospel stew.

His previous Bebop recording "Guitar Balafonics" had won Downbeat Best of 2015. Pascal Bokar is listed in Scott Yanov's "Great Jazz Guitars" distributed by Hal Leonard Publishing. Pascal Bokar has worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Donald Byrd, Donald Bailey, Barney Wilen etc...

Pascal Bokar is the recipient of the Jim Hall Jazz Master Award for Guitarists from the Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA. He has received a Master's Degree from Cambridge College and a Doctorate Degree with Honors from the Graduate School of Education at University of San Francisco, CA where he directs the USF Jazz Band and teaches music surveys and social justice courses. He is the owner of the award winning Savanna Jazz Club of San Carlos, CA.

The banjo, violin and guitar, staples in the folk of the U.S. heartland’s folk music styles, have their ancient roots in West Africa. These stringed instruments travelled through the Middle East and Asia to Europe and eventually became a part of the universal musical language. In this recording, Afro BlueGrazz, "American Shores" Pascal Bokar creates a fresh perspective to view this cultural crossroads where these American folk instruments of African origin meet again with Senegalese drumming and Rhythm and Blues vocals and guitar styles that are also distant cousins.

AfroBlueGrazz "American Shores" is an ambitious fusion of textures and styles that comes from Pascal Bokar’s unique cultural perspective. As an accomplished jazz guitarist and scholar of African music and jazz he consistently heard clear examples of African musical concepts and instruments throughout his musical explorations. In this project he brought together accomplished musicians from the Appalachia’s Blue Grass style with Senegalese master drummers, African-American Rhythm and Blues singers, funky keyboards and the stomp/clap percussion of a gospel choir. This eclectic cross cultural mix brings together long lost musical relatives as a platform for Pascal’s rich guitar and vocal improvisation.

Greg Landau


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