Thomas Blachman

b. 1963



Jazz drummer, composer, producer and cultural personality. He was born in 1963 in Copenhagen and studied percussion at The Royal Danish Academy of Music with Hans Fulling. Later on, he went to Boston to study jazz composition and arrangement at the Berklee College of Music.

As a musician he started as drummer in the band Page One, with whom he recorded the album Beatin’Bop. From 1998-1999 he was head of the record company ManRec. He has won five Danish Grammies both as musician, songwriter and producer, has written prize-winning film music, and has worked with a lot of internationally known jazz musicians. His genre-transcending work navigates nonchalantly along the border between the mainstream and the ultra-hip.


Danish musician, composer and producer. Thomas Blachman is best known in Denmark as a merci­less judge in reality shows and talent competitions like Idols and X Factor. The ruthless facade and a number of more or less deliberate provocations in the Danish media cover over a sincerely curious and searching artist.

Thomas Blachman trained as a drummer, jazz arranger and jazz composer at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

In 1998 – with inspiration from the fashion world – he launched the record label ManRec. The music was both styled and style-conscious and was sold over the Internet and from a showroom in Copenhagen furnished most of all like a clothes boutique. The project was a commercial failure but a breakthrough for the media entrepreneur Thomas Blachman.

As a musician Thomas Blachman has worked with a number of Danish jazz profiles including Carsten Dahl and Lennart Ginman. In addition he has worked with many Danish pop artists, most strikingly perhaps with the singers Maya Albana and Caroline Henderson.

Besides the role as a merciless jury member in various talent competitions, Thomas Blachman has also experimented with a number of striking TV concepts. The talk show programme Blachman from the spring of 2013 was an international sensation: two clothed men talking about and asses­sing a naked woman standing in front of them in the studio. Later came Mentor– a talent show turned on its head. This time it was the participating talents who could vote the judges out. This concept brought 

Thomas Blachman the prize for the best competition-reality format at the Format Awards 2013.Thomas Blachman has written film and ballet music, jazz standards and more expansive com­positions. His greatest success as a composer has probably been the music for Thomas Vinterberg’s film Submarino (2010) for which he won a Robert Prize in 2011.

Hjarne Fessel 2014