Music Producer and Director of the Labels ACT Music + Vision
“I no longer want to be important, but useful.” With these words, Siggi Loch ended his unprecedented career as an international music manager after 30 years. He discovered and built up artists such as Klaus Doldinger, Marius Müller-Westernhagen or Katja Ebstein. Once Germany’s youngest label director at the age of 25, in his early fifties, Loch decided to make a radical cut. In founding ACT, he fulfilled his youthful dream: his own jazz label – which quickly enjoyed international success. ACT focuses particularly on European jazz, especially from Scandinavia and Germany. Crossing over into the world of classical music is part of his concept. In 2017 ACT celebrates its 25-year anniversary, making it one of the few constant factors in the business. Among other honours, Siggi Loch has received the Cross of the German Federal Order of Merit, the Honorary Award of the German Record Critics and the Skoda Jazz Award, and was made a Knight of the Order of the Polar Star by the Swedish King. ACT received the ECHO Audience Jazz Award as “Label of the Year” no less than four times.
Nils Landgren is doubtlessly one of Europe’s most successful jazz musicians. Fans and observers of the 60-year-old Swede are already wondering whether his days might have more than 24 hours. Critics have nominated him as the hardest working man in show business. When “Mr. Redhorn,” the man with the red trombone, is not touring with his legendary band Funk Unit or other projects bearing his name, he works as a producer and talent scout or is found passing his know-how on to his students. In the German capital, he has made a name for himself as the artistic director of the JazzFest Berlin. It is not least his versatility which is admired in this musician, who began playing drums at the age of six and discovered the trombone for himself at 13: apart from hardcore jazz, he is devoted to Swedish folk music – or he might record romantic and idiosyncratic Christmas songs, as he did on his album Christmas With My Friends. In cooperation with Doctors without Borders, Nils Landgren’s Funk Unit supports a music education project for children and teenagers in one of the largest slums of Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi. After leading the successful “Classic meets Jazz” projects at Young Euro Classic for two years running, Nils Landgren returns in 2016 for its third edition.
Four personalities are united the Berlin-based Ensemble Olivinn: apart from the composer Sinem Altan, it includes the soprano Begüm Tüzemen, originally from Istanbul and living in Berlin since 2007, whose repertoire ranges from classical arias to jazz standards and international folk song arrangements. Then there is the Anatolian-born multi-instrumentalist Özgür Ersoy, who performs the duduk, baglama and ney in many formations, for example with pianist Fazil Say. The fourth musician is the percussionist Axel Meier from Berlin, equally virtuosic on timpani and darbuka, in salsa and Turkish folklore, on drum set and vibraphone. The Ensemble Olivinn stands for a very special sound, mixing traditional Turkish and Anatolian folk songs with classical European and contemporary works, which also include improvisation. In Berlin, the quartet has performed regularly in musical theatre works at the Maxim Gorki Theater, Ballhaus Naunynstraße and Atze Musiktheater.
Guest Musicians of Ensemble Olivinn: Tanja Svoboda (Violin) and Beatrice Holzer-Graf (Cello)
She is from Ankara and lives in Berlin: for the 30-year-old German-Turkish composer Sinem Altan, the dialogue between these two cultures is the central subject of her artistic work. Even as a young girl, she won first prizes as a pianist and composer in Turkey and Germany; she was accepted at the Music Academy Hanns Eisler as a junior student at the age of only 11. Later, she initiated the concert series “Yenilige Dogru – On the Road towards Novelty”, which later resulted in the founding of her ensemble Olivinn, which moves freely between European classical music, Turkish folk music and jazz. Sinem Altan’s activities are uncommonly broad-ranging: she has been composer-in-residence at the Neukölln Opera; she has set several stories about Keloglan, the Turkish equivalent of Till Eulenspiegel, for the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin (RSB); and for the Amsterdam Opera she composed a new version of Verdi’s Aida including a gospel choir and oriental percussion. In 2013 her Concerto for Baglama (Turkish lute) and Symphony Orchestra had its successful premiere at the Konzerthaus Berlin. In 2015 she won the European Composers Award at Young Euro Classic for her work Hafriyat – Earthwork.
Born in Istanbul in 1983, Begüm Tüzemen studied musical and operatic singing at the State Conservatory of the Istanbul University. At the same time she studied Russian philology and literature and performed in musicals and concert projects in Antalya-Aspendos. She continued her education in classical singing and acting in Berlin, winning acclaim for her performance in the successful productions Türkisch für Liebhaber and Tango Türk at the Neukölln Opera. Together with Sinem Altan and Özgür Ersoy, she founded the Ensemble Olivinn. Her mastery of different vocal techniques and her large repertoire covering many languages and different styles – from classical music, jazz and tango to international folk music arrangements and interpretations of contemporary music – allow her to participate in intriguing cross-genre and multi-media performance projects. She works with several renowned partners on stage. In addition to her career as a vocalist, she has appeared in various musical theatre productions on German-language stages.
Susanna Risberg is a young, award-winning guitarist from Sweden. Her musicianship stretches widely from all forms of jazz to blues to pop, rock and classical. From 2005 to 2008 she performed as soloist with Blue House Jazz Orchestra (led by Magnus Lindgren), the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and others. In 2008 she was accepted by the Berklee College of Music in Boston on a scholarship. Since May 2011 she has recorded two albums and toured a great deal with her own group “Susanna Risberg Trio”. In October 2015 Susanna was awarded the prestigious prize “Jazzkatten” as “Newcomer of the Year” from the Swedish Radio. Susanna Risberg is now a full-time freelance guitarist, touring, performing and recording with a great variety of musicians and groups such as Marit Bergman, Elin Ruth, Henric De La Cour, and Miriam Bryant, next to her own projects.
This past year, Lisa Wulff, born in Hamburg in 1990, began playing electric bass at the age of 9, completed her studies in music education in jazz and jazz-related music in Bremen, during which she majored in E-bass and acoustic double bass. Since then, she has been studying for a performance degree at the Hamburg Music Academy. Lisa Wulff takes to the stage not only as a bass player, but also as a singer. Furthermore, she composes and founded the Lisa Wulff Quartet, following her experiences with her own bands such as Kalís, Greenroom and takadoon. Concerts beyond the German borders have taken her all over Europe and to China. She has shared the stage with artists such as Bob Mintzer, the NDR Bigband, Trilok Gurtu, Nils Landgren, Curtis Stigers, Robbie Smith, Semino Rossi and Love Newkirk. She is particularly active on the jazz scene in Northern Germany.
Robert İkiz is known as an extremely versatile drummer/percussionist having played and recorded all sorts of music from straight-ahead jazz to funk and pop. By the age of 2 he was accompanying Tchaikovsky symphonies on pots and pans in his grandmother’s apartment in Istanbul. He moved to Stockholm from Istanbul when he was 4 years old. İkiz studied Afro-American music programme at the Stockholm Music Conservatory (1995-1998). In 1998 he received a scholarship to study at the Los Angeles Music Academy. İkiz has performed, taught and recorded in over 40 countries. In addition to awards from the Swedish Royal Music Academy, in 2015 Ikiz was nominated as “the musician of the year” for Jazzkatten, the biggest Swedish jazz prize. He has run his record company, Stockholm Jazz Records, since 2002. Checking In (2012) was his debut album as a solo artist. İkiz is presently a steady member of the following bands: Nils Landgren Funk Unit, Dan Reed Band, Jacob Karlzon 3 and Petter Bergander Trio. İkiz is also member of three exiting duos with the eminent musicians Magnus Lindgren, Cenk Erdogan and Mousa Elias.
“Caro mio Zülüf”
Lied und Czardas
“Uzun ince Wegweiser”
“You can’t go home“
Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano
“Vem kann segla“
“Von fremden Ländern und Menschen Summertime“
An innovative and creative success story goes into its third year: Nils Landgren, the funk virtuoso, known all over the world as “Mr. Red Horn”, brings young jazz musicians to Berlin. This time, they encounter young Turkish musicians: the composer Sinem Altan, winner of the European Composer Award 2015, and her Ensemble Olivinn. Together, they will rock the Konzerthaus – with a fascinating mix of jazz, traditional Turkish music and classics.