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Theo Bleckmann

Theo Bleckmann. A jazz singer and new music composer of eclectic tastes and prodigious gifts, GRAMMY NOMINATED Theo Bleckmann makes music that is accessibly sophisticated, unsentimentally emotional, and seriously playful. His work provokes the mind to wonder, but connects immediately with the heart.

Singer. Bleckmann has released a series of gorgeous and irreverent albums on Winter & Winter, including recordings of Las Vegas standards, of Berlin kabarett, and of popular “bar songs” (all with pianist Fumio Yasuda), a recording of newly-arranged songs by Charles Ives (with the improvisational jazz/funk collective Kneebody), and most recently Solos for Voice and Toys, where Bleckmann brought just his stunning vocal technique, his emotional commitment, and his suitcase full of oddly evocative voice-altering gadgets to the project of recording delicate songs and poems alone at a monastery in the Swiss Alps.

Collaborator. In addition to his work as a soloist, Bleckmann loves to mix it up with other musicians. He maintains an ongoing creative relationship with guitar phenomenon Ben Monder, generating a series of performances and a pair of albums that wreak beautiful havoc with standard expectations of jazz and rock. With John Hollenbeck and Gary Versace, he makes up Refuge Trio, a project exploring and reinventing the work of popular singer-songwriters as well as generating provocative original work. With singers Peter Eldridge, Kate McGarry, Lauren Kinhan, and Luciana Souza, he forms Moss, a collective that plays in the sandbox of jazz, folk, and rock, building new ideas and compositions for voices. Bleckmann has additionally collaborated with a remarkable roster of contemporary musicians and composers, including Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Sheila Jordan, Michael Tilson Thomas, John Zorn, the Bang on a Can All-stars, and, most prominently, Meredith Monk, with whom Bleckmann worked as a core ensemble member for fifteen years. His uniquely flexible and colorful voice has also inspired compositions by, among others, Michael Gordon, Phil Kline, David Lang, Ikue Mori, Kirk Nurock, and Julia Wolfe.

Composer. Bleckmann's joyous, mischievous sensibility is also manifest in his compositional work, which leaves listeners feeling as if their usual chair had been moved over a few inches when they weren't looking - familiar things look fresh and strange again for a moment. He has composed for a range of instruments from piano, violin, and kalimba to chimes, Glockenspiel, toy microphone, and sewing machines, setting exquisite poems by Rumi, Emily Dickenson, and Kurt Schwitters as well as building ineffable soundscapes with just his voice and a loop pedal. His most recent compositional achievement is an evening of original work for voice and the JACK String Quartet, commissioned by the Slought Foundation.

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John Corbert DOWNBEAT ”[Bleckmann's] a gifted singer (and twister) of songs, his voice flexible and rich, his phrasing sensitive and clear…, which makes his precise articulation such a treat.”

Phil DiPietro, AllAboutJazz ”Bleckmann possesses technique so colossal, yet so meticulous, he can seem otherworldly, an android-like embodiment of sci-fi vocalisms, a bodily vessel for that voice.

Francis Davis - The Village Voice Theo Bleckmann and Fumio Yasuda, Las Vegas Rhapsody—The Night They Invented Champagne (Winter & Winter). The most transcendent vocal album in many a moon (for my money, anyway) reminds me of Björk's Selmasongs. Bleckmann's voice and Yasuda's orchestrations have the same blissfully troubling emotional pull.

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Sarah Jerrom
voice / vocals
Linhares
voice / vocals
FUAT TUAÇ
voice / vocals

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

This Land

Westerlies Records
2021

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Songs You Like a Lot

Flexatonic Records label
2020

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Caruma

Inner Circle Music
2020

buy

Elegy

ECM Records
2017

buy

Hello Earth! The...

Winter & Winter Records
2012

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Hello Earth! – The...

Winter & Winter Records
2012

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