Theo Bleckmann (born Theodor Raoul Bleckmann;
May 28, in Dortmund, West Germany) is a jazz singer and new music
composer, he was grammy nominated and received the ECHO award in 2010.
His work was described as “from another planet” (New York Times), as
“magical, futuristic,” (AllAboutJazz), “limitless” (Citypaper,
Philadelphia) “transcendent” (Village Voice) and “brilliant” (New York
Bleckmann has released a series of very well received 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 jazz/rock
collective Kneebody), and his new acoustic Solos for Voice “I dwell in
Bleckmann has worked with such artists as Laurie Anderson, Anthony
Braxton, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk,
Michael Tilson Thomas, John Zorn and The Bang on a Can All-Stars and was
a guest vocalist with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Estonian Radio
Choir, Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Mark Morris Dance and most
prominently, Meredith Monk, with whom Bleckmann worked as a core
ensemble member for fifteen years. He has recently been interviewed by
Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air.
Recognized as both a performer and composer, his work spans concerts,
installations, theater, cabaret and performance art. He has sung
worldwide on some of the great stages including Carnegie Hall's, Zankel
Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. The New Yorker called him a 'local
cult favorite', The New York Times 'excellent' and according to OUT
Magazine Bleckmann is 'a singer who's only recently fallen to earth' and
indeed Bleckmann's style has something otherworldly and ethereal.
Bleckmann is also an educator. He is professor of Jazz Voice at the
prestigious Manhattan School of Music and Adjunct Assistant Professor at
The New School, Queens College and New York University.
Theo Bleckmann grew up appreciating both traditional music from his
native Germany as well as American popular music and The Great American
Songbook. He trained as an ice dancer in Germany, and was a junior
champion before deciding to pursue a career in music. In 1989 Bleckmann
moved from his native Germany to New York City (subsequently becoming an
American citizen in 2005) after meeting legendary jazz vocalist Sheila
Jordan at a workshop in Graz, Austria, who remains an influential mentor
and colleague to this day. Together they can be heard on Sheila
Jordan's Jazzchild (High Note 1999).