Book Recommendation: “From Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta” by Pascal Bokar Thiam, Ed.D.

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

About the book

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.”

About Pascal Bokar Thiam Ed.D.

guitarbalafonics1Pascal Bokar Thiam, Ed.D., is on the faculty of the University of San Francisco, California, and the French American International School where he teaches jazz and world music courses in the Performing Arts Division. He is a jazz guitarist and vocalist of Senegalese and French background.

Dr. 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.

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