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June 30 , 2010

Third-time DownBeat Poll Win for Manfred Eicher and ECM

For the third consecutive year, the DownBeat Critics Poll has voted Manfred Eicher Producer of the Year and ECM Records Label of the Year. Results are announced in the August edition of the US jazz magazine, which reaches international newsstands in mid-July.

The latest poll wins come just two months after Eicher received DownBeat’s Lifetime Achievement Award, established “to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of the jazz pioneers, entrepreneurs and clarion callers who work tirelessly to connect jazz artists with audiences around the world.”

Celebration of ECM continues at Europe’s summer festivals, with a special spotlight on the label inside this year’s Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia. Umbria’s programme includes a discussion between Eicher and writer Gary Giddins on July 12, and music with Bobo Stenson Trio, Louis Sclavis Quintet (July 13), Tarkovsky Quartet, Stefano Bollani, Chick Corea Quartet (July 14), Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Enrico Rava, Pat Metheny Group (July 15).

On July 25 the Atina Festival, in central Italy, presents a “Concerto evento ECM”, with Argentinean bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi and friends, regrouping players from Argentina, Germany, England, Denmark and Italy in new combinations. Participating musicians include Felix Saluzzi, John Surman, Palle Mikkelborg, Anja Lechner and UT Gandhi.

As ever, the Munich-based label continues to issue recordings spanning the broadest musical spectrum. August releases range from “Stories Yet To Tell” by the Norma Winstone Trio to Arvo Pärt’s “Symphony No. 4”. In September, ECM issues “Officium Novum” the long-awaited third album from Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble, as well as new discs from the Charles Lloyd Quartet and Nik Bärtsch.