Guest Artist Rehearses Jazz Band, Students Inspired

Dr. Pascal Bokar Thjam Leads Jazz StudentsOn Monday, May 4, jazz and world music educator Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam led the Skyline College Jazz Band (MUS. 450) in an innovative rehearsal, bringing fresh ideas to the 28-person performance ensemble in a master class-style musical clinic. “Dr. T,” as he is often known, rehearsed the ensemble for an hour, focusing on Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll,” Miles Davis’s “Seven Steps to Heaven,” and Kenny Dorham’s “Blue Bossa.” Student musicians later remarked that it was an excellent experience, and that they gained a new, inspiring perspective on the music.

Born in Paris and raised in Mali and Senegal, Dr. T teaches jazz, guitar, and world music at the University of San Francisco. He is also the owner of Savanna Jazz Club in San Francisco’s Mission District. His recently published book, titled From Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta: How West African Aesthetics Shaped the Music of the Delta Blues, has garnered great scholarly and critical acclaim.

Dr. Zachary Bruno will return the favor by leading a USF jazz ensemble in a rehearsal next week. The Skyline College Jazz Band can be heard performing at the college’s Commencement Ceremony on May 29 and at Savanna Jazz Club on June 5.

Article by Zack Bruno | Photo by Erick Serrano