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Pascal Bokar Afro Blue Grazz Band Comes to Phoenix

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Prior to the concert, Pascal Bokar and the band will present an interactive conversation through their Jazz, Culture & Social Justice Project.

Pascal Bokar Afro Blue Grazz Band Comes to Phoenix

The Nash, West Valley Arts and Ottowa University AZ have joined forces to present the Pascal Bokar Afro Blue Grazz Band for two shows, Aug 9 at 7:00 pm at The Nash 110 E Roosevelt, and Aug 11 at 7:00 pm at Ottawa University, 15950 N Civic Center Plaza, Surprise. Tickets are $25 and on sale at Eventbrite: The Nash: August 9 at 7:00 pm West Valley August 11 at 7:00 pm

Born in Paris, France and raised in Mali and Senegal, West Africa, Pascal Bokar is an accomplished guitarist/vocalist, who has always understood the connections between West African music and the sounds of the American South. The Pascal Bokar Afro Blue Grazz Band is an exciting powerhouse band of eleven musicians that features the West African sabar drum, the balafon (ancestor of the xylophone), the banjo, the fiddle and a rhythm section.

Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the evening with the Pascal Bokar Afro Blue Grazz Band is an exploration of jazz and its relationship to African culture.

Prior to the concert, Pascal Bokar and the band will present an interactive conversation through their Jazz, Culture & Social Justice Project. The Project, which has been featured throughout the United States and internationally, traces the influence of West Africa on the evolution of American culture and musical traditions. From foods (gumbo,) religious rituals (voodoo,) and agricultural skills (cultivation of rice,) to the rhythmic pulse of the drums (swing), call and response patterns, and the blue notes of the Ngoni, the Malian instrument which became America's oldest string instrument, the banjo, Pascal and the musicians guide the audience through this fascinating exploration, followed by their electrifying concert.

Pascal Bokar is the recipient of the Jim Hall Jazz Master Award from Berklee College of Music and an "Outstanding Jazz Soloist Award" in 1984 from Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody. Bokar's CD entitled "Guitar Balafonics" received Downbeat Magazine's "Best CD of 2015". Bokar's Afro Blue Grazz Band has appeared at more than 60 Jazz & World Music Festivals worldwide.

"We are so fortunate to have been given this opportunity to present such an exciting, authentic group of musicians to connect the dots from America's jazz to its West African roots. This extraordinary musical and educational event will provide us with a rare glimpse at the rest of the story!" Joel Goldenthal, Executive Director, The Nash

"This is such a wonderful opportunity for West Valley Arts and our Imprint program to present these phenomenal artists alongside The Nash. We are expanding the arts and entertainment offerings for residents in the West Valley, and to be able to welcome audiences into a new venue, with these musicians is going to be exhilarating." Sandra Bassett, President & CEO, West Valley Arts Council.


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