Thollem McDonas Trio





Thollem McDonas Trio


  • Thollem McDonas, piano
  • Piotr Michalowski, bass clarinet & saxophones
  • Abigail Alwin, cello

Event Details

Kerrytown Concert House welcomes back the Thollem/Michalowski/Alwin Trio! Keyboardist, composer, and improviser Thollem McDonas teams up with area improvisers Piotr Michalowski and Abigail Alwin for an evening of spontaneously composed chamber music. Check out their latest album here.


Thollem McDonas

Thollem is a pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. He's spent his life skirting and erasing the edges of boundaries musically, culturally, geographically. His work is ever changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Thollem's 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 more recently as an electronic keyboardist through a multitude of projects including Who Are U.S. 2016 with the filmmaker ACVilla.

Piotr Michalowski

Piotr Michalowski has been collaborating with musicians in Ann Arbor and the Detroit area for over two decades. His first public performances involved mainstream modern jazz and big band music, but he soon moved on to more radical sounds. Early in his musical career he worked closely with violinist red player Len Bukowski and violinist Mike Khoury in the collective Close Embrace of the Earth in concerts and recordings. Since then he has collaborated with many other musicians at home and abroad. He has played in Warsaw, Paris and Rome, and in various places in the US, often in duets. On some of his recent travels he has performed with Fred Lonberg-Holm, Vinny Golia, Jon Raskin, Jason Kao Hwang, Andrew Drury, and Ken Filiano among others. His past Edgefest performances have included appearances as part of a group organized by Andrew Bishop and in trio with Michael Malis and Ken Filiano. His most recent appearance on CD in on Jason Kao Hwang's "Voice" on Innova.

Abigail Alwin

Abby Alwin, cellist and improviser, weaves sounds inspired from the moment, and generated from the heart. She serves the community in the capacity of a public-school orchestra director, with a 15-year tenure with the Ann Arbor Public Schools. In addition to her classroom teaching, she co-directs the AAPS Comprehensive Outreach Music Program in collaboration with the Community Music School of Ann Arbor, which connects music tutors with disadvantaged students whom would otherwise not have private instruction. Alwin is recipient of the 2013 Yale University Distinguished Music Educator Award, recognizing innovative and exemplary pedagogy amongst the best in the United States. She seized the opportunity in 2013 to spend the summer teaching violin in Kenya, and plans for more international music adventures. Most recent performance projects have included performing solo & in collaboration with Detroit composers, improvisors & choreographers, focusing on improvisatory and contemporary idioms as well as the folk traditions of Bulgaria & Greece. Ms. Alwin is currently the assistant conductor of the Dexter (MI) Community Orchestra.