Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer
Tomie Hahn Director
hahnt "at"




Liz Magnes

Liz Magnes combines an extraordinary approach to jazz piano with a World Music flavor to create a totally new and fresh solo jazz piano sound. Her signature blend of American and Middle Eastern jazz is an exciting meeting of East and West.  All Releases by Liz Magnes

Al Margolis (If, Bwana)

Tina Marsh

Tina Marsh is the founder, director, vocalist and one of the chief composers of the Creative Opportunity Orchestra (CO2). The orchestra was founded in Austin in 1980. It features some 80 musicians who rotate to play gigs and have released a handful of jazzy, avant-garde, big-band CD's. CO2 has included Randy Zimmerman, James Lakey, Martin Banks, Jay Rosen, John Mills, Bob Rodriquez, Edwin Livingston, Dennis Dotson, Jay Fort, Rene Saenz, Bob Blakeslee, Paul Armstrong, Terry Landry, Larry Spencer, Chris Searles, Oliver Rajamani.

All Releases by Tina Marsh

George Marsh

Marsh was born in Belleville, Illinois, and received his formal musical education at the University of Illinois where he studied with Tom Siwe and Jack McKenzie. After playing with Bill Russo's Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Marsh moved to California in 1968 and has been an integral part of the music scene of the San Francisco Bay Area performing with a variety of musicians. Marsh also teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at Sonoma State University. He is a member of the Good Sound Band.

All Releases by George Marsh


Sabir Mateen

Sabir Mateen - Alto & Tenor Saxophones, Flute, Piccolo, Bb & Alto Clarinets Composer, Arranger, Conductor, Poet Originally from Philadelphia (b. April 16th 1951), he moved to Los Angeles and played with Horace Tapscott and his Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and other bands. He moved back to Philadelphia in the '80's and played with two musicians he still collaborates with today, Sunny Murray and Raymond A. King, and also with Monette Sudler, Bill Lewis and many others. He also pursued studies with Byard Lancaster. Having moved to New York in 1989, Sabir became a world renowned artist and has performed with the greats such as Cecil Taylor, William Parker Ensembles (Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra & The Inside Songs Of Curtis Mayfield), Alan Silva, Wilber Morris, Jemeel Moondoc, Charles Downs (Rashid Bakr), Marc Edwards, Mark Whitecage, Raphe Malik, Dave Burrell, Butch Morris, Henry Grimes, Kali Z. Tom Bruno, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Steve Swell The Sun Ra Arkestra, Frode Gjerstad, William Hooker and many others. Mateen has performed in Europe, Japan, and Africa. He is also involved in Collective bands such as TEST (w/ D. Carter, Matthew Heyner and T. Bruno), The Downtown Horns (w/ R. Campbell & D. Carter), The East 3rd St. Ensemble (w/ Matt Lavelle, Clif Jackson and David Gould). Sabir leads his own bands as well: The Sabir Mateen Ensemble, Omni-Sound, Trio Sabir, and Juxtapositions. Sabir also performs in solo and duo configurations with Matthew Shipp and Hilliard (Hill) Greene.All Releases by Sabir Mateen 

Dominique Mazeaud

Dominique Mazeaud's passion is to put her art in service of her community and beyond. In interactive performances like “The Point of Tears” created for her 'peace through culture' tour of Colombia in 2001 and 2002, “The Sorry Book Traveling Shrine” for Peace Day in 2006 or “The Priestess of Generosity” created for the Network of Spiritual Progressives' Generosity Sunday in 2007, she creates spaces for a deep listening to the heart. Since 1979, her calling has been to find “the spiritual in art” and her journey hence has centered on uncovering the meaning of the word 'heartist.'

All Releases by Dominique Mazeaud

Kim McCarthy

Kimberly A. McCarthy, Ph.D., M.M. first met Pauline Oliveros in 1979 via a one paragraph description in “Grout,” the canon of classical music history. The second meeting occurred at a conference in 1984. McCarthy zombied up to Pauline and said “This…is…an...important…meeting.” Pauline quickly looked for the nearest exit, all too familiar with the groupie psyche. In 1991 Kim was crabby. She didn’t want to go to the concert. In a huff she plopped down in the dark, third-tier seat. But something caught her eye. It was a head. Seated before her. There was…something…familiar. Shock and excitement set in as in this chance event Kim realized it was Pauline Oliveros. THIS WAS A SIGN!

All Releases by Kim McCarthy


Thollem McDonas

Thollem McDonas, pianist/comproviser, was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of Irish and Cherokee descent. Not long after birth he began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval to the 20th century. After graduating with degrees in both piano performance and composition he dedicated his time for years in grassroots political movements and ecological restoration projects before coming back to music with his full focus. He is currently touring perpetually, mostly as a soloist but also in collaboration with many other individuals and groups. Thollem's extensive travels as a performer and teacher have covered much of the North American continent and Europe (he often leads listening and group improvisation workshops). He is a founding member of several innovative ensembles all of varying and disparate musics. In the past 6 years he has added 20 albums to his discography on 9 different vanguard labels in 4 different countries. His music is diverse, with each album and every concert exploring a variety of approaches and paths, resulting in dramatically different outcomes. Thollem is a recipient of the 2009 US Artists International Award as the founder and Artistic Director of Estamos Ensemble as well as a CAP grant this year from the American Music Center. He was commissioned by The Limon Dance Company for a large-scale piece in commemoration of their 50th year anniversary. In September 2008 he was invited to perform the late works of Claude Debussy on the piano on which they were written, as well as his own comprovisations with Stefano Scodanibbio. "OnDebussy'sPianoAnd..." (Die Schachtel - September, 2010) is the first album ever recorded on Debussy's piano. Thollem has performed in theaters, art galleries, universities, elementary schools, concert halls, jazz clubs, rock clubs, festivals, warehouses, house concerts, streets, forests, riots and on television and radio. He has performed piano concertos with symphonies, played in West African drumming troupes, Javanese gamelan ensembles, an international punkarolla band, with hundreds of free improv groups, and as an accompanist and a composer for opera and modern dance.

Thollem Mcdonas

Thollem tours perpetually as a solo pianist, vocalist and collaborator regularly covering much of North America and Europe playing his unique brand of composed and spontaneous post-classical and hyphenated music. In the past 6 years, he has added 23 albums to his discography on 10 different vanguard record labels in 4 different countries. His musical experiences are extremely diverse and his ever expanding variety of approaches to making music result in dramatically new and different outcomes. He plays in punk clubs, museums, concert halls and riots. He works regularly with film makers,
dancers, poets and painters as well as a wide array of divergent musicians. He has won numerous awards and is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange.

Not long after birth, Thollem began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval to the 20th century. After graduating with degrees in both piano performance and composition, he dedicated his time for years in grassroots political and ecological movements before returning to his own music with his full focus in 2006. He is currently touring perpetually as a soloist, in collaboration with many other individuals and groups, as well as leading large ensemble free improvisation workshops.


Joe McPhee

Since his emergence on the creative jazz and new music scene in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Joe McPhee has been a deeply emotional composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist, as well as a thoughtful conceptualist and theoretician. Born on November 3, 1939, in Miami, FL, McPhee first began playing the trumpet at age eight. McPhee continued on that instrument through high school and then in a U.S. Army band stationed in Germany; during his Army stint, he was first introduced to traditional jazz. Clifford Thornton’s Freedom and Unity, recorded in 1967 and released in 1969 on the Third World label, is the first recording on which McPhee appears. In 1968, he began playing the saxophone and since then has investigated a wide range of instruments (including pocket trumpet, clarinet, valve trombone, and piano), with active involvement in both acoustic and electronic music. McPhee’s first recordings as leader appeared on the CjR label, founded in 1969 by painter Craig Johnson . These include Underground Railroad by the Joe McPhee Quartet in 1969, Nation Time by Joe McPhee in 1970, and Trinity by Joe McPhee, Harold E. Smith and Mike Kull in 1971. By 1974, Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger had become aware of McPhee’s recordings and unreleased tapes. Uehlinger was so impressed that he decided to form the Hat Hut label as a vehicle to release McPhee’s work. The label’s first LP was Black Magic Man, which had been recorded by McPhee in 1970. Black Magic Man was followed by The Willisau Concert and the landmark solo recording Tenor, released by Hat Hut in 1976. The earliest recordings by McPhee are often informed by the revolutionary movements of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s; for example, Nation Time is a tribute to poet Amiri Baraka and Joe McPhee & Survival Unit II at WBAI’s Free Music Store, 1971 (finally released as a Hat Art CD in 1996) is a sometimes anguished post-Coltrane cry for freedom and liberation. As the 1980s began and with a number of Hat Art recordings under his belt, McPhee met composer, accordionist, performer, and educator Pauline Oliveros, whose theories of “deep listening” strengthened his interests in extended instrumental and electronic techniques. McPhee also read Edward de Bono’s book Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, which presents concepts for solving problems by “disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle.” de Bono’s theories inspired McPhee to apply this “sideways thinking” to his own work in creative improvisation, resulting in the concept of “Po Music.” McPhee describes “Po Music” as a “process of provocation” that can be used to “move from one fixed set of ideas in an attempt to discover new ones.” He concludes “It is a Positive, Possible, Poetic Hypothesis.” The results of McPhee’s application of Po principles to creative improvisation can be heard on several Hat Art recordings, including Topology, Linear B, and Oleo & a Future Retrospective. Although his work was well documented on Hat Hut, McPhee remained a relative unknown in his home country. During the 1990’s, McPhee finally began to attract wider attention from the North American creative jazz community. He has since been performing and recording prodigiously as both leader and collaborator, appearing on such labels as CIMP, Okkadisk, Music & Arts, and Victo. In 1996, 20 years after Tenor, Hatology released As Serious As Your Life, another solo recording (this time featuring McPhee performing on various instruments). McPhee also began a fruitful relationship with Chicago reedman Ken Vandermark , engaging in a set of improvisational dialogues with Vandermark and bassist Kent Kessler on the 1998 Okkadisk CD A Meeting in Chicago. The Vandermark connection also led to McPhee’s appearance on the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Octet/Tentet three-CD box set released by Okkadisk that same year. As the 1990s drew to a close, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen. The trio premiered at the Vision Jazz Festival, but the concert went unnoticed by the press; McPhee, Duval, and Rosen therefore decided that an apt title for the group would be Trio X. A number of Trio X recordings, have since been released on the CIMP and CADENCE JAZZ RECORDS labels, and the band has received favorable critical notice for these, as well as for its live concert and festival appearances.

All Releases by Joe McPhee