September 12, 2008

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Vocalist Theo Bleckmann and electric guitarist Ben Monder will perform in concert on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building.

The concert, which is free to the public, will feature compositions from their new release, "At Night." The performance is part of Bucknell University's ongoing Gallery Series of performing art and experimental music.

The Gallery Series is funded in part by grants from the Kushell Music Endowment and the Bucknell department of music.

Jazz art song
Bleckmann and Monder have been performing together as a duo for close to 15 years, touring the United States, Europe and Asia. They have created a close working relationship in which they workshop and develop new compositions for voice and guitar. Together they have created a unique approach to what might be called "jazz art song," blurring the boundaries between jazz, classical, ambient and rock.

The duo's continued collaborations on both Bleckmann's "Origami" and Monder's "Excavation" and "Oceana" have garnered great critical acclaim worldwide. Phil DiPietro from wrote that there is "a searing unison interplay between Monder and Bleckmann - either they rehearsed this passage for months or they have developed a familial telepathy from their years of collaboration."

Theo Bleckmann
A steady force in the music scene in New York for more than 15 years, Bleckmann forges his own sound in jazz and contemporary music today, incorporating jazz, ambient and electronic music as well as performance art.

Bleckmann's vocal style is based on a thorough understanding of the jazz vocal tradition (he is a protégé of Sheila Jordan's) as well as "extend vocal techniques" (he has been a principal in Meredith Monk's Vocal Ensemble since 1994). He also uses electronic looping and processing in order to create choral and textural soundscapes.

Called a "local cult favorite" by The New Yorker, and a "mad genius" by Downbeat magazine, Bleckmann was recently interviewed by Terry Gross for Fresh Air on NPR. (Hear the interview at

He has performed worldwide on stages including Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, the Sydney Opera House, L.A.'s Disney Hall, The Whitney Museum and the new Library in Alexandria, Egypt, with artists including Laurie Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Ben Monder, Meredith Monk, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bang On A Can All-stars and John Zorn. For more information or to hear music samples, visit

Ben Monder
Monder, who is a regular with the Maria Schneider Orchestra and the Paul Motian Band, has developed a compositional style that is, in large part, guided by an attempt to reflect his diverse musical influences through the medium of the guitar. There is an effort to exploit the full textural potential of the guitar, and his playing is influenced as much by classical technique as jazz.

A musician in the New York area for more than 20 years, he has performed with a variety of artists, including Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, Lee Konitz, Paul Motian, George Garzone and Tim Berne. He has appeared with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, the Kenny Wheeler Large Ensemble, Guillermo Klein's Los Gauchos, and is a regular member of the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band.

Monder, who studied music at the University of Miami and Queens College, has conducted clinics and workshops around the world, and served on the faculty of the New England Conservatory for the last three years. He continues to perform original music internationally with his own quartet and trio. For more information or to hear music samples, visit

Contact: Division of Communications


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