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Dynamic Music Duo to Perform at Santa Monica Library

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Jorge Casuso

June 18, 2019 -- Who says libraries have to be quiet? Next month two of Los Angeles' top improvising musicians will make plenty of noise at the Santa Monica Public Library.

On Wednesday July 17 at 7:30 p.m., the Soundwaves new music series presents a set of improvised music by pianist Thollem McDonas and drummer Alex Cline in the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium.

McDonas and Cline performing
Pianist Thollem McDonas and drummer Alex Cline (Courtesy of Soundwaves)

If a review of the duo's 2014 performance in San Diego is any indication, listeners can expect "a delicious ebb and flow of intensity and dynamics," "furious squalls" and "electronic mayhem," according to a review in SoundDiego.

McDonas -- who has toured the world nonstop for more a decade -- has collaboreted with artists from contemporary classical music, free jazz and punk rock, including former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt.

Then again, McDonas has also toured with electronic composer Pauline Oliveros, whose environmental drones can often be hypnotic.

Cline has played drums on more than 80 recordings with major artists that include John Carter, Charlie Haden, Henry Kaiser, Elliott Sharp and Wadada Leo Smith.

He has also worked on major projects for the 2012 and 2015 Angel City Jazz Festivals and at the Hammer Museum and accompanied his twin brother Nels Cline at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival.

Cline co-hosts the Open Gate concert series at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts.

The monthly Soundwaves series presents artists who appear on the DRAM (Database of Recorded American Music) streaming service. The Santa Monica Library is the first public library to offer this service to its cardholders.

Listings of past and upcoming Soundwaves shows as well as sound and video recordings can be found at

The Main Library is served by Big Blue Bus routes 1, 7, R7, R10 and 18 and provides bicycle parking racks.

For more information, visit or contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.

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