2.19.13 THOLLEM MCDONAS QUARTET @ Grand Star Jazz Club

Grand Star Jazz Club + Cafemode presents
FEBRUARY  19, 2013  8pm – midnight
943 N. Broadway [Chinatown]  Los Angeles, CA 90012



VINNY GOLIA woodwinds
ALEX CLINE drums / percussion

curated by Kio Griffith

$10 cover | 21+ | first come first serve |  arrive early

943 N. Broadway [Chinatown] Los Angeles, CA 90012



Thollem is a perpetually traveling musician, sharing his time between North America and Europe, performing/recording as a soloist, in collaboration with many other individuals and groups, as well as leading large ensemble improvisation/collaboration workshops. His music is diverse, approaching each concert and project uniquely, resulting in dramatically new and different outcomes. Not long after birth, Thollem began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval to the 20th century. With degrees in both piano performance and composition, he quit school to dedicate his time to grassroots political movements and ecological restoration projects. In 2005, he returned to music as his full focus, incorporating his experiences into his compositions, improvisations and teaching.  Thollem has performed piano concertos with symphonies, played in West African drumming troupes, Javanese gamelan ensembles, punk bands, with many free improvisation groups, and as a “comproviser” for modern dance and film. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange.  He is also the lead singer of the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti, as well as The Hand To Man Band with John Dieterich and Mike Watt.  Last year he released 6 albums including a trio album with Nels Cline and William Parker.

Thollem observes, “I make music that I hope stimulates the mind and the body, that’s sexy and athletic and revolutionary and spiritual and loving and that will shake people awake, starting with me first.”


Haleh Abghari is a native of Iran and has performed internationally as a singer and actor.  The NY Times hailed her work in Georges Aperghis’ Recitations for Solo Voice as “a virtuoso and winning performance,” and the Washington Post described her voice as “. . . high, dry, sweet and piercingly pure soprano.”  She has performed at the Monadnock Music Festival, the IFCP Festival, and the CrossSound Festival, EtnaFest, Teatro Manzoni, and SoundRes in Italy.  She has appeared and/or recorded with ensembles including the NY New Music Ensemble, Cygnus Ensemble, Sequitur, Bent Frequency, and Fred Ho’s Afro Asian Music Ensemble.
Abghari has created original music and performance pieces and received a Fulbright Grant to work on the music of Kurtág in Budapest.  She worked as a music programmer and host for WNYC and WQXR.

A multi-woodwind performer, Vinny’s recordings have been consistently picked by critics and readers of music journals for their yearly “ten best” lists. In 1990 he was the winner of the Jazz Times TDWR award for Bass Saxophone. In 1998 he ranked 1st in the Cadence Magazine Writers & Readers Poll and has continually placed in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll for Baritone  & Soprano Saxophone. In 1999 Vinny won the LA Weekly’s Award for “Best Jazz Musician”. Jazziz Magazine has also named him as one of the 100 people who have influenced the course of Jazz in our Century. In 2006 The Jazz Journalists Association honored him with a Lifetime Achievement  Award.


Alex Cline began playing the drums at age eleven, first in rock bands with his twin brother, guitarist Nels Cline. Alex’s interest in a larger sonic vocabulary caused him to gather a large family of percussion instruments that he has been heard playing mainly in the “jazz” and “new music” genres. After beginning a musical association with woodwind artist Jamil Shabaka in 1976 as Duo Infinity, Alex Cline’s musical activities began to flourish. In 1977 Cline became a member of Vinny Golia’s group as well as the Julius Hemphill Trio (along with Baikida Carroll, a unit which toured Europe and recorded that year), formed the electric improvisational trio Spiral (with Nels Cline and synthesizer player-multi-instrumentalist Brian Horner), and began performing solo percussion concerts.


Grand Star Jazz Club website


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