Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center Presents Theo Bleckmann & Ben Monder Duo In Preview Of New Downtown Location

Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center Presents Theo Bleckmann & Ben Monder Duo In Preview Of New Downtown Location

On Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 8pm, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC) presents a special, free preview concert by Grammy-nominated vocalist Theo Bleckmann and jazz guitarist Ben Monder, part of BMCM+AC's celebration of its new permanent home at 120 College St. in downtown Asheville. For over 15 years, the Theo Bleckmann & Ben Monder Duo has toured the U.S., Europe, and Asia creating a unique approach to what might be called "jazz art song," blurring the boundaries between jazz, classical, ambient and rock.

Bleckmann and Monder's set will highlight the duo's unique approach to what might be called "jazz art song," fusing jazz, classical, ambient music and rock. Downbeat Magazine describes the Theo Bleckmann and Ben Monder Duo as "so virtuosic and inventive a pair...the two share a subtle discipline that results in a focused, cohesive whole...Rarely have such individual musicians sounded so single-minded." The duo's continued collaborations on their two duo CDs No Boat and At Night, as well as Bleckmann's Origami and Monder's Excavation, Oceana and Hydra have garnered great critical acclaim world-wide.

On September 28, 2018, BMCM+AC will have a permanent place to call home for the first time in their 25-year history. This new home at 120 College Street will be a relocation and expansion to a newly renovated building on Pack Square Park in the heart of downtown Asheville, NC.

Program Information:
120 College Street Opening Celebration Featuring Theo Bleckmann and Ben Monder
Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 8pm
BMCM+AC | 120 College Street | Asheville, NC
Tickets: Free and Open to the Public
Link: http://www.blackmountaincollege.org/performance-theo-bleckman-ben-monder/

About Theo Bleckmann
GRAMMY nominated jazz singer and new music composer Theo Bleckmann's diverse recorded work includes albums of Las Vegas standards, Weimar art songs, and popular "bar songs" (all with pianist Fumio Yasuda); a recording of newly-arranged songs by Charles Ives (with jazz/rock collective Kneebody); and his 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 Records. 2017 marks the ECM release of Bleckmann's recording with his new Elegy Quintet, produced by legendary label head and founder, Manfred Eicher. In their album review of Elegy, The Wall Street Journal called Bleckmann "a jazz vocalist for the 21st Century."

Bleckmann has 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 a new work for the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and 2016 brought 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 has consistently appeared in the top-five spots in the DownBeat Critics' Polls for Best Male Vocalist, and top-ten spots in their Readers' Polls, and his work on Phil Kline's Out Cold helped place that production on WQXR's Operavore "Best Opera of 2012." In 2010, Bleckmann received the prestigious JAZZ ECHO award from the Deutsche Phono-Akademie in his native Germany.

About Ben Monder
A musician in the New York City area for over 30 years, Ben Monder has performed with a wide variety of artists, including Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, Lee Konitz, Billy Childs, Andrew Cyrille, George Garzone, Paul Motian, Maria Schneider, and Marshall Crenshaw. He also contributed guitar parts to the last David Bowie album, Blackstar. Ben conducts clinics and workshops around the world, and has served on the faculties of the New England Conservatory, NYU and the New School. He was the recipient of a Doris Duke Impact Award in 2014, and a Shifting Foundation grant in 2013. Ben continues to perform original music internationally in solo and trio settings, and in a long standing duo project with vocalist Theo Bleckmann. He has appeared on over 200 CDs as a sideman, and has released 6 as a leader: Amorphae (ECM, 2015), Hydra (Sunnyside, 2013), Oceana (Sunnyside, 2005), Excavation (Arabesque, 2000), Dust (Arabesque, 1997), and Flux (Songlines,1995).

About Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC) preserves and continues the legacy of educational and artistic innovation of Black Mountain College (BMC). We achieve our mission through collection, conservation, and educational activities including exhibitions, publications, and public programs.

Arts advocate Mary Holden founded BMCM+AC in 1993 to celebrate the history of Black Mountain College as a forerunner in progressive interdisciplinary education and to explore its extraordinary impact on modern and contemporary art, dance, theater, music, and performance. Today, the museum remains committed to educating the public about BMC's history and raising awareness of its extensive legacy. Our goal is to provide a gathering point for people from a variety of backgrounds to interact through art, ideas, and discourse. For more information visit http://www.blackmountaincollege.org

About Black Mountain College
The story of Black Mountain College begins in 1933 and comprises a fascinating chapter in the history of education and the arts. Legendary even in its own time, Black Mountain College attracted and created maverick spirits, some of whom went on to become well-known and extremely influential individuals in the latter half of the 20th century. A partial list includes Willem and Elaine De Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef and Anni Albers, Jacob Lawrence, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Cy Twombly, Kenneth Noland, Susan Weil, Vera B. Williams, Ben Shahn, Ruth Asawa, Franz Kline, Arthur Penn, Buckminster Fuller, M.C. Richards, Francine du Plessix Gray, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Dorothea Rockburne and many others who have made an impact on the world in a significant way. Even now, decades after its closing in 1957, the powerful influence of Black Mountain College continues to reverberate.

* Photo of Theo Bleckmann and Ben Monder by John Labbe.

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