The 21-year-old alto saxophonist and composer Jakob Manz grew up in a musical home, where he discovered the drums at the age of five, only to end up playing the saxophone after first experimenting with the flute. That choice allowed the young talent to begin studying at the Stuttgart University of Music when he was only 15. Manz was a member of the Bundesjazzorchester, but he had already formed his own band, The Jakob Manz Project, which still exists today, before then. The band won First Prize in the “Future Sounds” category at the Leverkusener Jazztage in 2018 – and their debut album Natural Energy (2020) was released on the renowned label ACT. Manz’s latest project, a duo album with the pianist Johanna Summer (The Gallery Concerts I) was also released on the same label. A recent winner of the Baden-Württemberg Jazz Prize, his playing was celebrated in the laudation for the “intensity, clarity and concentration that lends his music an air of magic”.