Originally from the musically rich Motor City, Detroit, Michigan, Oluyemi Thomas has been a San Francisco Bay Area resident since 1974. Thomas studied both music and mechanical engineering at Washtenaw College. He creates ordered compositional free music that he acknowledges as part of, but not limited to, what is called jazz. Over a career spannin... More
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Originally from the musically rich Motor City, Detroit, Michigan, musician/composer/multi-instrumentalist Oluyemi Thomas has been a Bay Area resident since 1974. He studied both music and mechanical engineering at Washtenaw College. Thomas creates ordered compositional free music that he acknowledges as part of — but not limited to — what is cal... More
My interest in doing this interview with Oakland musician Oluyemi Thomas stems from a desire to get a wide range of answers to some questions that have held my interest for a number of years now. For example, how does the jazz aesthetic show up in the visual field? And, what are the visual markers indicating that we are “seeing” jazz? My goal is to explore the intersection between jazz music, spirituality, and ritual and to explain how these things are made present in the visual field. There are so many unexplored implications in the notion... More
If I stand facing the mirror holding Bob Dylan’s self-portrait over my own face, do I not, in a sense, become him? If this is how Bob Dylan painted himself, then through this gesture am I not more like him than if I merely sang one of his songs out loud?
At some point as I recite his words and feelings, would our identities merge into one? I... More
Libyans wave national flags in Tripoli’s Green Square, renamed Martyr’s Square, during morning prayers Wednesday on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of Ramadan. Libyans are also celebrating the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.
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“The children are drawing pictures of the new Libyan flag, something that would have gotten them arrested only two weeks ago.” (National Public Radio, 31 August 2011)
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The first time I ever heard of Tripoli was when, as a child, in a school classroom, our music teacher taug... More