“Tom Djll has been making thoughtful, elegant music for nearly 30 years and has taken the trumpet as far beyond its silver, snarling vernacular as it is possible to go, and as far from the extended technique proponents as Bill Dixon is from Roy Castle. ” – The Wire
Current and recent projects include:
Tender Buttons with Tania Chen and Gino Robair
Trio with Cheryl Leonard and Bryan Day
Beauty School with Jacob Felix Heule and Matt Chandler
KOKUO with Kyle Bruckmann, John McCowen, Kanoko Nishi-Smith and Jacob Felix Heule
kinda green with Tim Perkis
Runcible Spoon Fight with Clarke Robinson
CDP, led by Amanda Chaudary with Mark Pino and Joshua Marshall
Grosse Abfahrt with Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, John Shiurba, Matt Ingalls + guests
hackMIDI – circuit-bent electronics and digital piano sounds
Quartet with Tim Perkis, Matt Ingalls and Scott Walton
2017 began with a bang. Yeah, I know… not THAT one… In the petty terms of my non-consequential artistic life, I had a big bang in the big gig bag at SF Jazz on January 29, playing in Rova’s Electric Ascension. Many kudos to the creative stalwarts of Rova, whose idea for bringing John Coltrane’s monumental work forward into the future has proven to be a DEEP VISION for creativity and resistance! As for 2016, another good musical year passed with these notable events in it… Tender Buttons released our first album, FORBIDDEN SYMMETRIES (on Rastascan Records), and played numerous shows in the Bay Area and a special one as part of the Nonsequitur Foundation’s Wayward Music Series. We heart U, Seattle! We’re currently putting together a tour of England later in 2017… Beauty School released its second cassette, CRUST IMMERSED, to general apathy and confusion… I mean, acclaim. In July, I participated heavily in sfSound’s NOTATIONS festival, and made some friends (and enemies) in the process… After not having played on KPFA since the 1990s, I managed to get myself into those hallowed lefty studios three times in the space of three months; first, on Thomas Dimuzio’s Frequency Modulation show, then with Kyle Bruckmann and Matt Ingalls, doing Cage’s Cartridge Music, on Wobbly’s Over the Edge show, then again on Wobbly’s airtime with Tender Buttons swimming through nearly three hours of live electoacoustic improvisation (featuring special guests Wobbly and M. C. Schmidt of Matmos)… stay tuned for perhaps a release of that music… August, and Larry Ochs’ group “The Fictive Five” at Berkeley Art Museum… a bunch of gigs playing for silent (or sound turned down) films with Joe Lasquo’s company, Fushigi Kenkyukai, culminating in a film-less Golden Gate Improviser’s Orchestra show which I got to conduct a piece in… a little trip to Denver and the Front Range… and I released a solo cassette, “cassette 19,” on Public Eyesore… also available for download at my Bandcamp page.
The rest of the story, from 1977 on, can be assembled from the links below.