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MUSICIAN Born:

Thollem McDonas

Thollem McDonas is a composer, pianist, improviser, teacher and writer.  He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of Irish and Cherokee descent.  At the age of five, he began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval to the 20th century and studied with many notable teachers including Aiko Onishi and Lou Harrison.  After graduating with degrees in both piano performance and composition, he dedicated his 20s and 30s to grassroots political activism.  In 2005, he refocused his attention on a breadth of musics that incorporate his myriad experiences and curiosities.  In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout North America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers.  As leader or co-leader, he has released almost 50 albums in that span on 19 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim.  “Thollem is an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument” (Terry Riley) and who continues to delve into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of Post-Classical, Free Jazz, Noise, Punk, dance and film

MUSICIAN Born:

Guillaume Muller

French musician and composer currently based in New York city, Guillaume started to play the guitar in his teenage years. Originally from Paris, he moved to Boston to study guitar and composition. In the Fall 2012. Upon his arrival at Berklee College of Music, Guillaume earned a scholarship, and had the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest musicians and teachers the school had to offer. In the Fall 2015, Guillaume graduated Summa Cum Laude and shortly after moved to New York city. While teaching and playing in New York, Guillaume has also been able to attend NYU Steinhardt as a graduate student and obtained his Master degree in Jazz Studies in the Spring 2019

MUSICIAN Born:

The Beat Freaks

It was at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries that the first mentions of the „Difference Engine” - the progenitor of today's computers - appeared. No one had thought then that almost 200 years later it would fascinate four young artists from Szczecin (Poland), who would draw inspiration from the rich current of Steampunk culture.  Progressive visions straight from the era of steam engine and engineering development combined with musical sensitivity and lyricism create a mixture as surprising as it is thrilling. The rhythm that is the basis of existence and progress has become the starting point for the world of melodious stories and unbridled improvisations, to which the musicians of The Beat Freaks invite. The band was formed in 2014

Algorhythm

On the new album, the band performs as an electrified quartet, not like so far, as an acoustic quintet . The personal changes in the group were an inspiration to choose a new, unknown path, which generates the concept of a group as a multi-tasking, synergistic machine. In this way, "Termomix" outlines new boundaries on Polish jazz scene where jazz, electronics, improvised music, post-rock and mathcore become a common tool for building evolving and original sound. A wide range of instruments, various production techniques, elastic sound and finally communicative themes are just some of the features of the new Alpaka Records' title directed to an open-minded listener.

MUSICIAN Born:

Jimmy Bennington

Jimmy Bennington (born May 22, 1970; Columbus, Ohio) is a self-taught artist who began playing professionally in Texas, 1990. Mentored by late John Coltrane drummer Elvin Jones during the last decade of his life, Bennington was eventually hired as Jones' band manager/drum tech, touring the world as part of the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine (2000-2002). Since then, Bennington lived on the West Coast for several years (1997-2006), and has made Chicago his home base (2006-Present). Jimmy has performed and recorded with artists such as Julian Priester, Perry Robinson, John Stowell, Ed Schuller, Bert Wilson, Ken Filiano, Steve Cohn, John Blum, John Gross, Daniel Carter, and French bassist Benjamin Duboc

MUSICIAN Born:

Eric Pan

Pianist and musical artist Eric Pan creates novel and transportive experiences for audiences, incorporating musical performance, improvisation, collaboration, and immersive storytelling. This year, he recorded a three-volume album of original music, titled “Travel Poems” — an unconventional debut album containing not only piano and Fender Rhodes solo, duo, and trio compositions, but also soundscapes to expand their narrative possibilities. The Travel Poems live show elevates this concept further, with interwoven live storytelling in the service of delivering audiences to a variety of environments. He has played jazz piano in New York City for over a decade, sharing stages with Jeff Hamilton, Roy Hargrove, and John Patitucci


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