Pascal Bokar Thiam headshot

Pascal Bokar Thiam

Adjunct Professor

Part-Time Faculty


Pascal Bokar Thiam has earned his undergrad at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, a Master's Degree from Cambridge College, in Cambridge, MA, and a Doctorate Degree in Education with honors from the University of San Francisco, CA. Born in Paris, France, and raised in West Africa Mali/Senegal, Pascal Bokar is listed in the "Great Jazz Guitarists" book by Scott Yanov published by Hal Leonard. His CD "Guitar Balafonics" received Stars in 4 Downbeat Magazine and was selected as "One of the Best CDs of the Year" in 2015. Pascal Bokar has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Donald Byrd, Donald Brown, Roy Haynes, Jon Faddis, Art Matthews, Donald Bailey etc...He is the 1983 Recipient of the Jim Hall Jazz Master Award for Guitarist of the Berklee College of Music, and the 1984 Outstanding Jazz Soloist Award from Dizzy Gillespie.


  • African Studies
  • African American Studies
  • Music and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora

Research Areas

  • Jazz History, Culture & Music
  • African American History, Culture & Music
  • African Societies, Culture & Music


  • Voting Member, Recording Academy, Grammy Awards
  • Executive Director, Silicon Valley Jazz Festival
  • Former Chair, Economic Development Committee, NAACP, San Francisco Branch, CA


  • University of San Francisco, Ed.D. in Education, 2006
  • Cambridge College, MA in Education/Music, 1999
  • Berklee College of Music, 1985
  • National Conservatory of Nice, 1983

Prior Experience

  • Adjunct Professor of Music Dpt City College of San Francisco
  • Adjunct Professor of Music, UC. Santa Cruz
  • Adjunct Professor of Music, San Jose State University

Awards & Distinctions

  • 2021 Recipient of Jazz Road Award from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Doris Duke Charitable Foundation & Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • 2015 Recipient of Downbeat Magazine "Best CD of the Year" for "Guitar Balafonics", SUGO Music
  • 2006 Recipient of Outstanding Dissertation Award, Graduate School of Education, University of San Francisco
  • 1984 Recipient of Outstanding Soloist Award presented by Dizzy Gillespie & James Moody
  • 1983 Recipient of Jim Hall Jazz Master Award for Guitarists, Berklee College of Music


  • Africa; Its Music & Its People, Palmetto Publishing, (2022)
  • From Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta, Cognella Publishing, (2013)