THEO BLECKMANN: BERLIN TO LAS VEGAS
The Edye at the Broad Stage, Santa Monica, CA
Saturday, February 12, 7:30pm
Theo Bleckmann: voice
with Paul Romero: piano
and The Bauhaus String Quartet:
Elizabeth Hedman: violin
Daphne Chen: violin
Michael Lieberman: viola
Paula Fehrenbach: cello
Arrangements by Fumio Yasuda and Theo Bleckmann
Saxophonist Ben Wendel is moonlighting as the producer of a show that features the outstanding vocalist Theo Bleckmann at the Edye (a black box theatre attached to the Broad Stage in Santa Monica) as part of an ongoing series entitled Under The Radar with a stellar lineup of artists including pianist Tigran Hamasyan and guitarist Lionel Loueke. Both Wendel and Bleckmann have done quite well as of late, each with their own recordings and performances critically and universally acclaimed, culminating with a Grammy nomination in 2010 for a collaborative project that Bleckmann did with Ben's band Kneebody, a stunning reinterpretation of Ives entitled Twelve Songs of Charles Ives.
Bleckmann and Kneebody actually performed their Ives song cycle at the Broad Stage in 2008. This time, Bleckmann returns with his own project, entitled Berlin to Las Vegas and features music from two of his recent releases, Berlin: Songs Of Love & War, Peace & Exile, and Las Vegas Rhapsody: The Night They Invented Champange. The music is written for voice, piano and strings, with imaginative and poignant orchestrations by pianist Fumio Yasuda.
For this show Bleckmann will be accompanied by local musicians, most notably pianist Paul Romero, winner of the Paris and Van Cliburn international piano competitions, and who also happens to be one of the more celebrated composers in the video game soundtrack genre, having scored more than 70 films and video games, including the score for the popular role-playing game Heroes of Might and Magic.
This particular concert trends more towards chamber music, but anyone who has an interest in creative interpretive works and an affinity for songs sung really well should be able to appreciate this show.