Thollem McDonas, solo: "An intense and virtuosic keyboardist"

Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Fri Jul 26 7:30pm Ages: 18+
Music"live music"+jazzSolo Piano
Thollem McDonas

About Thollem McDonas, solo: "An intense and virtuosic keyboardist"

”One of the most captivating pianists working today,” (, Portugal) Thollem McDonas has spent his life skirting and erasing the edges of boundaries musically, culturally and geographically. His work is ever-changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. “Thollem is a modern griot who has absorbed sounds from every place he has visited.” (William Parker from Conversations II, Rogue Art)

Thollem’s solo piano performance, “‘Meeting at the Parting Place”, is a true tour de force of spontaneous music creation; a wonderful example of what happens when immense technique, boundless inspiration and highly focused artistic vision converge.” (All About Jazz NY) “His piano playing is to die for!” (Alisa Clancy of KCSM)

Thollem's Electric Confluence is exactly what you'd think music influenced by Ethiopia, Japan, China, Persia, Latin America, Ireland, Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, The Balkans, Jazz, Blues, Punk, Country and the Avant Garde might sound like played on a synthesizer by "an intense and virtuosic keyboardist." (Time Out, New York)

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Thollem began playing the piano, composing and improvising as a child, absorbing the sounds of his culturally diverse upbringing. Since 2005, he has played over 1,500 concerts throughout N. America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians, dancers and filmmakers. In that time span, as leader or co-leader, Thollem has released over 60 albums on 21 different vanguard labels - including ESP-Disk, Edgetone, Relative Pitch, Amarani, Leo - to international critical acclaim. The 2nd Thollem/Wimberly/Cline album will be released on ESP-disk this summer. A brief cross section of his many recent collaborators include Pauline Oliveros, Amy Denio, Rob Mazurek, William Parker, André Stjames, Carmina Escobar and Hafez Modirzadeh. Thollem is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange.

“Thollem, known for his rapturous solo piano work which transgresses genre boundaries as much as it transcends them’ (All About Jazz NY) ,“…brings wide-ranging expression and invention to everything his restless, nomadic existence comes into contact with. Thollem’s maverick essence is magically evident.” (Nels Cline)

Thollem at Cowell Theater for Terry Riley's 80th Birthday

video:Thollem at Cowell Theater for Terry Riley's 80th Birthday

Thollem at Teatro Micaelense

video:Thollem at Teatro Micaelense
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