3rd Annual Silicon Valley Jazz Festival – Fremont Park / Menlo Park

Headliner Pascal Bokar's AfroBlueGrazz Band Sunday!

The Silicon Valley Jazz Festival (SVJF) is a broad effort to educate the public, and especially young people, about jazz – America’s art form – and its far-reaching influence on world culture. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of San Carlos, the festival aims to provide:

A two-day jazz event featuring local school groups, Bay Area-based professional musicians and national headliners. The festivities will create an inspiring atmosphere that will be both remembered and anticipated year after year by Peninsula music-lovers, and will build Silicon Valley’s reputation as a place where the arts thrive.
A variety of educational activities for Peninsula school children to help them learn about the importance of jazz and the ways in which it has shaped the culture of the United States and the world. In particular, we anticipate performances and presentations by leading professional musicians and educators. Most schools pay scant attention to what can legitimately be called “America’s art form,” and especially the contribution of African-Americans to U.S. history and culture. We hope to create a lasting climate that promotes greater appreciation and preservation of the traditions of jazz, along with a continuous series of innovative, high-quality programs that will be recognized as a valuable asset to education on the Peninsula.
A four-week workshop to teach the rich history of jazz and the intricate techniques of jazz improvisation to local students, especially those in underserved communities. Our goal is to encourage young musicians to explore jazz concepts, develop their abilities as jazz artists, and understand and appreciate the unique power of jazz as an art form that has deeply affected American culture.
A year-round series of public presentations to build the public’s awareness and appreciation of jazz. In a commercial world dominated by rock, pop and other forms, jazz is in danger of being overlooked, if not actually becoming extinct. Our offerings to the public will be both scholarly and entertaining, with an emphasis on the beauty, complexity and relevance of jazz, as well as its contributions to musical and cultural development throughout history.
Funds for the philanthropic and volunteer activities of the Kiwanis Club of San Carlos. The festival also benefits one of the premier organizations supporting youth, families and senior citizens throughout Silicon Valley.
Please Contact Us!

Silicon Valley Jazz Festival Committee
Scott Dailey, Chair
Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam, Ed.D., Vice Chair
Bob Brown
Nancy Agronin, Treasurer
Walt Shjeflo, Esq.
David Miller, Esq.
Nathan Winegar, Esq.
Susan Kimmel
Steve Beckwith
Phil Abrams
Martin Mansmann
Greg Posten
Trevor Slater
Fernando Bravo
Teresa Anthony
Michael E. Claire

Pascal Bokar’s Afro Blue Grazz

Pascal Bokar Afro Blue Grazz “American Shores”

Throughout his productive musical career, guitarist /vocalist Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam has always understood the connections between West African music and the sounds of the American South. His landmark book Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta discusses the music of the three empires that dominated the culture of West Africa starting in the 6th century, tracing the music from its role in the culture and daily life of Africa to its eventual emergence in the United States. In his teachings, lectures and music (where he displays his own individual voice), Pascal has consistently paid tribute to his ancestors. “As a musician, I have always tries to synthesize the convergence of African esthetics and appreciate their influence in the music of the African American communities of the American South, from the rural sounds of the Blues and Gospel into this music we call Jazz.”

Pascal Bokar’s American Shores, in the “AfroBlueGrazz” style coined by the album’s producer Greg Landau, is an ambitious fusion of textures and styles that comes from Bokar’s unique cultural perspective. As an accomplished Jazz guitarist and scholar of African music and Jazz he consistently heard clear examples of African musical concepts and instruments throughout his musical explorations. In this project he brought together accomplished musicians from Appalachia’s bluegrass style with Senegalese master drummers, African-American Rhythm and Blues singers, funky keyboards, and the stomp/clap percussion of a gospel choir. This eclectic cross cultural mix brings together long lost musical relatives as a platform for Pascal’s rich guitar and vocal improvisation.

Pascal Bokar’s previous recording “Guitar Balafonics” was selected by Downbeat Magazine as one of the “Best CD’s of 2015”. Pascal Bokar is listed in Jazz journalist Scott Yanow’s Book entitled The Great Jazz Guitarists. Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam is also the owner of the Award Winning Savanna Jazz Club of San Carlos, CA, and is recipient of the Jim Hall Jazz Master Award from Berklee College of Music.


Don't miss an event.

Reservations are encouraged for all events at Savanna Jazz. Please use the form below to request a reservations. Alternatively, call (415) 624-4549 or email us at jazz@savannajazz.com.