Amherst College Faultlines Festival to Feature Performance by the Theo Bleckmann/Ben Monder Duo March 7

February 18, 2010
Contact: Sara R. Leonard
Concert and Production Manager
413/542-2195

AMHERST, Mass. – Faultlines: Mapping Jazz in the 21st Century, the yearlong Amherst College music festival, continues Sunday, March 7, with a concert featuring genre-bending Grammy-nominated vocalist Theo Bleckmann and renowned jazz guitarist Ben Monder at 7 p.m. in Cole Assembly Room of Converse Hall on the college’s campus. The concert is free of charge and open to the public.

“Theo Bleckmann is no ordinary jazz vocalist,” notes Faultlines curator and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Jason Robinson. “Bleckmann’s duo with guitarist Ben Monder is a one-of-a-kind blending of jazz and various experimental approaches to improvised music. I’m very excited to present this in the context of the Faultlines festival.”

With a recent Grammy nomination for best cross-over classical album, Bleckmann has been a steady force in the New York music scene for over 15 years, forging his own sound in contemporary music by incorporating jazz, ambient, electronic music and performance art. He has performed worldwide on some of the great 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. He has collaborated with artists Laurie Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Meredith Monk, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bang On A Can All-Stars and John Zorn. The New Yorker called him a “local cult favorite,” Downbeat dubbed him a “mad genius” and The New York Times praised him as “excellent.” He is “a singer who has only recently fallen to earth,” according to OUT Magazine. His voice can be heard on more than 40 recordings found on ECM, CRI, Label Bleu, Polygram, Songlines, Traumton and Winter and Winter labels. 

Monder has performed with a dizzying assortment of important jazz artists, including Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, Lee Konitz, George Garzone, Tim Berne and Kenny Wheeler. He is a regular member of the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and the Paul Motian Octet, as well as many other groups. He conducts clinics and workshops around the world and has served on the faculty of the New England Conservatory.  He has appeared on over 100 CDs as a sideman, and has released four as a leader: Oceana, Excavation, Dust and Flux.

Faultlines events will include concerts, performance workshops and talks, all free and open to the public, and all guaranteed to generate passionate debate about the nature of jazz and its relationship to American cultural identity. The festival is made possible through the generous support of the Amherst College Arts Series Fund, Amherst College Department of Music, AmherstCollegeMeadArt Museum and UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center’s Solos and Duos Concert Series and Magic Triangle Concert Series.

For more information about the March 7 concert or any other events associated with Faultlines: Mapping Jazz in the 21st Century, visit the festival website at www.amherst.edu/faultlines.

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