Thollem is a perpetually traveling pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author & teacher. He’s spent most of his life living on the road throughout North America & Europe. His work is ever-changing, evolving & responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across disciplines. He is known internationally as an acoustic piano player in the free jazz and post-classical worlds, as the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti and as an electronic keyboardist through a slew of projects. Born & raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Thollem began playing the piano, composing/improvising as a child, absorbing the sounds of his culturally diverse upbringing. As an adult he has continued to incorporate the breadth of musics he has experienced on his extensive travels. Since 2005, he has played over 1,500 concerts throughout North America & Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians, dancers & filmmakers. In that time span, as lead facilitator or co-leader, he has also released close to 100 albums on 23 different vanguard labels. A very brief cross section of his many collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Stefano Scodanibbio, Nels Cline, Rob Mazurek, Ravish Momin, Michael Wimberly, Mike Watt & Carmina Escobar. The deep true list is as diverse as his ear.
Over the years I have had a chance to discuss several different projects with Thollem, but this one is unique. He was out of his element in some ways with his most recent work, ‘This Day’s Called Tuesday’ by his twenty first century one man band Hot Pursuit Of Happiness (HPOH). We get in there about what was different and how these tracks developed over time [and are still evolving as Thollem figures out what they will become in a live setting]. We talk about Thollem the singer/songwriter, the live beat maker and the sonic producer all in one in a real time environment…but it seems like the bottom line is just how this music, these songs make me, make him, make WE feel. There is something to this new music, I hope you will take a listen and share just what it is. It miGht just be special.