“a vocalist of inventive instinct and assiduous musicality”—Nate Chinen, NY Times
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, leading his work to be described as “from another planet” (New York Times), as “magical, futuristic,” (AllAboutJazz), “limitless” (Citypaper, Philadelphia) “transcendent” (Village Voice) and “brilliant” (New York Magazine).
Bleckmann, who has been residing in New York City since 1989, has released a series of gorgeous and irreverent albums on Winter & Winter, including recordings of Las Vegas standards, of Weimar art songs, and of popular “bar songs” (all with pianist Fumio Yasuda); a recording of newly-arranged songs by Charles Ives (with jazz/rock collective Kneebody); his acoustic Solos for Voice “I dwell in possibility”, and his highly acclaimed "Hello Earth - the Music of Kate Bush." Bleckmann has most recently appeared as a special guest on recordings by Ambrose Akinmusire for Blue Note Records and Julia Hülsmann’s trio for ECM, followed by touring with both of those artists. In January 2017, ECM will release Theo’s recording with his new Elegy Quintet, produced by legendary label head and founder, Manfred Eicher.
Bleckmann has additionally collaborated with musicians, artists, actors and composers, including Ambrose Akinmusire, Laurie Anderson, Uri Caine, Philip Glass, Ann Hamilton, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Phil Kline, David Lang, Kirk Nurock, Frances MacDormand, Ben Monder, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kenny Wheeler, John Zorn, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and, most prominently, Meredith Monk, with whom Bleckmann worked as a core ensemble member for over fifteen years.
He has been interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air and appeared on the David Letterman show with Laurie Anderson. In 2015, Bleckmann premiered his commission for the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and 2016 brings both the premiere of a new work commissioned by the San Francisco Girls Chorus (for the New York Philharmonic Biennial) and the premiere of a new work by Jacob Cooper with the LA Philharmonic.
Bleckmann's accolades include NPR's 2012 Top 10 Jazz Albums of the Year for Hello Earth! The Songs of Kate Bush, top-five spots in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 DownBeat Critics’ Polls for Best Male Vocalist, and top-ten spots in their Readers’ Polls, as well as third place for Best Vocalist in the 2012 Rhapsody Poll of 119 critics (formerly hosted by the Village Voice), Boston Phoenix's "Best Jazz Acts" of 2012 for Hello Earth! The Songs of Kate Bush and WQXR's Operavore "Best Opera of 2012" for Out Cold by Phil Kline. In 2010, Bleckmann received the prestigious JAZZ ECHO award from the Deutsche Phono-Akademie in his native Germany.
photo by Susie Knoll