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ACT – MUSIC IN THE SPIRIT OF JAZZ

“One of today’s finest curators of progressive jazz and creative music.”
Downbeat (US)

Thirty years ago, music producer/publisher Siggi Loch moved on from his highly successful role as the European head of WEA (now Warner Music Europe) in order to fulfil a dream he had harboured since his youth, and set up his own independent jazz label, ACT. There have been more than 600 releases on the label since then; they stand as a testament not only to the power of his vision, but also as evidence of his inexhaustible drive and energy which has turned that dream into a reality.

Today ACT is considered "one of the most important jazz labels in Europe" (NZZ), "inclusive, cosmopolitan and widely respected" (The Guardian). Andreas Brandis has been steering the label's fortunes together with Siggi Loch since 2015, and has been a full partner in the business since 2022. The label’s most important endeavour, then as now, is to find and to develop new young artists who share a vision of jazz as an attitude which fosters openness, interaction and communication.

“Since 1992, ACT has been building its own European union of musicians, fostering a freedom of movement between nationalities and genres, and has given us an authentic impression of what the continent is about.” 

The TIMES (GB)

“One of Europe’s most important jazz labels, self-confident and independent.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH)

ACT was also an important part of the emancipation of jazz within Europe: the albums of the trio "Mare Nostrum" with Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano and Jan Lundgren are considered classics today. Also to be singled out is the great Joachim Kühn’s nonchalant way of slipping through borders, or indeed the transcendently vivid imagination of Michael Wollny, capable of producing "world dreams". Meanwhile, Vincent Peirani and Emile Parisien are currently writing an important chapter in the rich history of jazz in France.

It should also be noted that jazz from outside the European continent has a firm place on ACT: whether it be from North Africa, as is the case with Nesrine or Majid Bekkas, or from Asia, as with Huong Thanh, Black String or Youn Sun Nah. In addition, groundbreaking albums by internationally established artists such as Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Julia Hülsmann, Leszek Możdżer, Bugge Wesseltoft and Vince Mendoza have also appeared on ACT. For the past ten years, Siggi Loch has been bringing artists from a wide range of genres to the big stage in the "Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic" series, and many of these unique evenings have been released as albums on ACT. One of the most frequent guests from the very first edition, for over ten years on ACT, and a true original: the Finnish pianist Iiro Rantala, who manages to move in jazz, classical and pop with equal mastery, his is a virtuosity which listeners always relish. 

“ACT enchants by exploring new musical territories at the boarders of jazz.”

Radio France (FR)

In short, it seems as if music can succeed in an area where the wider world outside often manifestly fails: uniting peoples, cultures and generations in harmony, regardless of their differences and competing interests. Siggi Loch calls the core of his concept of jazz "the idea of the freedom of the individual in a group of like-minded people".

The current generation of artists, in addition to some of those mentioned, also unmitakably brings this idea to life: Johanna Summer, Jakob Manz, Anna Gréta, Daniel García, Dearest Sister, Jazzrausch Bigband, Vincent Meissner, KUU!, Joel Lyssarides, Marius Neset, Diego Piñera, Andreas Schaerer, Shalosh and many more. Each brings her/his very own individual version of jazz.

Thirty years. It is a period in which the ways recorded music is disseminated and consumed have undergone a complete revolution, during which listening habits have changed radically. In 1992, the year ACT was founded, the CD was the unassailable No.1. medium for music. ACT albums have always had a strong visual concept, featuring works by visual artists. There has been a desire to make the look and the feel of the album completely transcend the idea of commodification or of a utilitarian object. In interaction with the music, the artwork and the design concept create an aesthetic of their own. And listeners worldwide feel a strong sense of connection. This deeply felt imperative has not changed or diminished one bit in the current, primarily digital, music world. It is only the distribution channels which have diversified. Andreas Brandis says: "It is our goal to reach our listeners all over the world wherever they listen to music - as a stream, download, on CD or LP. However, what remains decisive for us – and not least as a counter-weight to the culture of tidbits and excerpts – is the value of an album as a work of art which tells a story and opens up a whole world in which listeners can immerse themselves completely."

At the same time, Brandis has expanded ACT's range of activities since 2018 to include "Tambour Music Management", which has the aim of developing artists' careers and creating unique concert formats. Together with the label and affiliated music publishing company, ACT/Tambour can bring together all of the elements which artists in today's music world need to develop, and house them successfully under one roof. Meanwhile, Tambour Music Management represents many renowned ACT artists, but also several who are outside the label’s sphere: Avishai Cohen, Becca Stevens, Christian Jost, Kit Downes, Pedro Martins, Lucia Cadotsch, Eivind Aarset and many others. Despite the enormous challenges posed by the Corona pandemic, this branch of the business has managed to show steady growth over the past four years.

Joachim Kühn: 80th birthday & Federal Cross of Merit

80th birthday on 15 March / Anniversary concerts in Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart

Your internship at ACT

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Your internship at ACT

We are looking for interns