b. 16 November 1949, Germany. Ackerman moved to California at the age of nine when he was adopted by a Stanford professor and his wife. He started playing the acoustic guitar at the age of 12, shunning the electric guitar and preferring open, modal tunings, heavily influenced by John Fahey, Leo Kottke and Robbie Basho. Following a home-made recording, the entrepreneurial Ackerman started the low-key Windham Hill Records in 1976, together with his friend and future wife Anne Robinson. As he built up the label’s roster he released several relaxing and sparse new age albums of guitar music. Tracks such as ‘The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter’ from Passage and ‘Visiting’ from Past Light are fine examples of his evocative melodic excursions. Occasionally, Ackerman’s guitar is accompanied by cello, piano or violin, but the music remains hauntingly uncluttered. Alongside his own productions he has simultaneously acted as producer to his other artists and led numerous tours as he spread the word about the innovative Windham Hill. Among his early signings and successes were George Winston, Michael Hedges and Alex De Grassi. As the label grew, Ackerman’s own musical output slowed down, although after relinquishing control of Windham Hill to his former wife Anne Robinson, he planned to concentrate more on his eclectic playing. In reality, he formed a new record label in 1996, Imaginary Road Records, which was a partnership with PolyGram Jazz.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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