Concert with Theo Bleckmann - Rancho La Puerta
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Concert with Theo Bleckmann

Week of January 20, 2024

Theo Bleckmann is a two-time Grammy®-nominated jazz singer and new music composer whose diverse recorded work includes albums of avant-garde jazz, Las Vegas show tunes, Weimar art songs, a capella vocal acrobatics, newly-arranged songs by Charles Ives (with jazz/rock collective Kneebody); and his highly acclaimed Hello Earth! – The Music of Kate Bush, leading his work to be described as “from another planet” (New York Times), “transcendent” (Village Voice) and “brilliant” (New York Magazine). He is currently performing the solo role in Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Lang’s opera (commissioned by the Japan Society) “Note to a Friend”.

Bleckmann, who has been residing in New York City since 1989, has appeared as a special guest on recordings by Ambrose Akinmusire (Blue Note) and Julia Hülsmann’s trio for ECM. In 2017 ECM released Theo’s recording with his Elegy Quintet, produced by Manfred Eicher. Bleckmann has a long-standing collaboration with guitar iconoclast Ben Monder and also collaborated with celebrated bass quartet The Westerlies on the album “This Land” (2021).

Theo Bleckmann has performed with musicians, dancers, visual artists, actors and composers, including Laurie Anderson, Uri Caine, Merce Cunningham, Philip Glass, Ann Hamilton, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Phil Kline, Frances MacDormand, Mark Morris, David Lang, Ben Monder, Ulysses Owens, Kenny Wheeler, John Zorn, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the WDR Jazz Bigband and hr radio big band Frankfurt and, most prominently, Meredith Monk, with whom Bleckmann has collaborated with for over 20 years.
Bleckmann was interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air, appeared on the David Letterman show with Laurie Anderson and performed as a soloist with the St. Louis Symphonie at Carnegie Hall in Ms. Monk’s “Weave”. In 2015, he premiered his own commission for the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Bleckmann has been a regular presence in “Best of..” polls, from DownBeatJazz Times, Rhapsody, and WQXR. In 2010, Bleckmann received the prestigious JAZZ ECHO award in his native Germany. Bleckmann recently returned from Finland, where he performed his music, bringing together the Oulu Symphony with the UMO Jazz Orchestra on stage for the first time ever.

Photo credit to Lynne Harty