Thollem is a pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. He has toured throughout North America and Europe as an itinerant artist for two decades, performing, teaching and collaborating in myriad situations across the idiomatic spectrum. Thollem’s known in concentric circles 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 multitude of projects. His lifelong interest has been to work with people from all walks of life, bringing artists and communities together in ways that may create something uniquely valuable to everyone involved. He is currently focused primarily on his multimedia collaboration with New Mexican visual artist ACVilla, his solo piano work Revelations Of The Sun, workshops on the collaborative process. 

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. 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 3,000 concerts throughout N. America and Europe, releasing more than 100 albums on 26 different vanguard labels. A very brief cross section of his many collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Stefano Scodanibbio, Nels Cline, Sara Lund, Rob Mazurek, Michael Wimberly, Mike Watt and Carmina Escobar. Thollem is a published author about art, politics and his travels in NewMusic Box, The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague) and First American Art Magazine.

“Thollem will take you on journeys across varied landscapes that flow effortlessly from one to the next
— somehow emerging logically even in their unpredictability.”

Joan Jeanrenaud, liner notes for Meeting at the parting place