Thollem travels perpetually as a pianist, vocalist, collaborator and facilitator. His musical experiences are extremely diverse and his ever expanding variety of approaches to making music result in dramatically new and different outcomes.
He plays in punk clubs, museums, concert halls and riots. He works regularly with film makers, dancers, poets and painters as well as a wide array of divergent musicians and communities. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross-border ensemble for musical exchange, as well as lead singer of Tsigoti, a socio-politically charged avant-punk band among many other groups and collaborations.
Not long after birth, Thollem began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval to the 20th century. After graduating with degrees in both piano performance and composition, he dedicated his time for years in grassroots political and ecological movements before returning to his own music with his full focus in 2005. Since then, he has added 24 albums to his discography on 10 different vanguard record labels in 4 different countries. He is currently touring perpetually as a soloist, in collaboration with many other individuals and groups, as well as leading large ensemble free improvisation/collaboration workshops.
Thollem performs in theaters, art galleries, universities, elementary schools, concert halls, jazz clubs, rock clubs, festivals, warehouses, house concerts, streets, prisons, forests, riots and on television, radio and the internet. He has performed piano concertos with symphonies, played in West African drumming troupes, Javanese gamelan ensembles, punk bands, free improv ensembles, and regularly collaborates as a comproviser for film and modern dance. He participates in communities as he travels, collaborating with individuals and organizations, helping to connect artistic communities and artists.
SPRING 2013 TOUR
A solo tour in support of the new Tsigoti and Bad News From Houston releases on Post-Consumer Records.
Thollem is known around the world as a wildly eclectic improvising piano player. Now with Fender Rhodes, analog effects and voice, Thollem Electric’s “Tsigoti In The Valley Of The Cloud Builder” forges Italian punk rock and colossal sonic machinations, all to the backdrop of the exquisitely twisted stop-motion films and videos of Tuia Cherici (Manucinema). The solo show is an irreverent spectacle where Thollem “claws at musical and sociopolitical borders” with “pungent, acute lyrics” (Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes) and "unreal linear explosions". (Greg Burk, LA Weekly)
"An exercise in political debauchery" - Tiny Mix Tapes
Thollem's the keyboardist and singer of The Hand To Man Band as well as Tsigoti. He has bands with, or has performed with members of Wilco, The Minutemen, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, L'Enfance Rouge, Deerhoof, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Half Japanese, Can, Kultur Shock, The Silver Jews, and many more
"It seems beyond the capacity of one human being to contain so much densely-packed creative energy" -Tom Djll, Signal To Noise Magazine