domingo, 28 de junio de 2015

New Book: From Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta

From Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta
How West African Standards of Aesthetics Shaped the Music of the Delta Blues (Revised First Edition)
By Pascal Bokar Thiam, Ed.D.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-63487-105-1, 154 pages

The Music is so varied that we still have no real idea what African music is.

I do know this, though: When an African touches an instrument, whether that African is an extension like Louis Armstrong or a master healer from Morocco or Mississippi, that instrument becomes an African instrument.

When a person is touched by African music, from his skin to his soul, that person has become Africanized. Perhaps this is the true meaning of universal: something foreign that reminds you of your deepest self.

Dr. Thiam has made a major contribution and this book should be in every school and home.

Randy Weston
Composer & Pianist
NEA Jazz Master


In this beautifully crafted and timely book about music, Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam guides us straight to the serious questions of the origin of Jazz and Blues throughout a long journey across West Africa. This book is a must read for those who care not only about music, but are also interested in social justice, colonization and slavery.

Magueye Seck, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
Curry College

Pascal Bokar Thiam journeys us back to root sources, visiting ancient string, voice and cultural traditions of Africa that shed revealing light on the birth of the blues.

Willard Jenkins (
Arranger of African Rhythms: The autobiography
of NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston

...makes the most compelling argument for the African roots of blues and jazz. Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam not only documents the trans-Atlantic crossings of West African musical practices, but he demonstrates that an entire aesthetic philosophy survived the Middle Passage. This book ought to be mandatory reading for anyone remotely interested in modern music and its ancient lineage.

Robin D. G. Kelley, PhD
Author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times
of an American Original
Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity
University of Southern California, Los Angeles

From Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta explores how West African standards of aesthetics and sociocultural traits have moved into mainstream American culture and become social norms.

I was curious to know why African Americans (and the country as a whole, for that matter) began clapping on beats two and four, and why we’d get dirty looks if we were caught clapping on the wrong beat. I had a desire to know why the identity of the music of our nation, with its majority population of European descent, had the musical textures, bent pitches, and blue notes of Africa. I wondered why a sense of swing developed here that was closer in syncopation to African culture than to the classical music of Vienna or the Paris Opera. And finally, I wanted to know why our nation’s youth moved suggestively on the dance floor with their hips—movements that are closer in aesthetics to African dance than to ballet. The journey began on the banks of the mighty Niger River.

Pascal ThiamDr. Pascal Bokar Thiam as he is know in academia or Pascal Bokar in the Jazz and World music arenas is on faculty in the Performing Arts and Social Justice Department of the University of San Francisco.
his most recent CD "Guitar Balafonics" received 4 stars in Downbeat Magazine May 2015 and praises from the national and international press.

In the News

Other Cognella titles by Pascal Thiam:

Pascal Bokar “Guitar Balafonics”

Pascal Bokar-Guitar & Vocals on all tracks
Art Maxwell-Flute & Soprano Sax
Aaron Germain-Bass
Eric Tillman-Piano
Leon Joyce-Drums
Daria Niles-Vocals on “Solitude”
El Hadj Mbor Faye-Sabar
Eddie Duran-Guitar on tracks 6 & 8
Madaline Duran-Flute on tracks 6 & 8
Cheikh Tayirou Mbaye-Sabar on tracks 6 & 8

More Info
 Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam is available for lectures, conversations, festivals and concerts.
Kindly contact; Barbara Collin at 324-556-1046

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