Vietnamese musicians Nguyên Lê and Ngô Hồng Quang have been nominated for Echo Jazz 2018, a prestigious jazz award hosted by the ACT Music recording company.



The winners will be announced on May 31 in Hamburg, Germany.



Nguyên Lê (real name Lê Thành Nguyên), 59, is a French Vietnamese. He has been nominated in the International Guitar Artist category.



Ngô Hồng Quang, 35, has been nominated for the Instrumentalist of the Year, Various Instruments category. He is a graduate of the Traditional Instruments Department of the Việt Nam Music Academy and has a master’s degree in contemporary composing from the National Music Academy in the Netherlands.



Both musicians have been nominated for their joint album, Hanoi Duo, released in January 2017.



The album includes 10 of their newly composed songs, some of which bear deep traditional Vietnamese characteristics. The album was re-mixed by Nguyên Lê in modern style and was recorded in France.



ACT Music’s website quotes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper about Nguyên Lê: “Nobody plays the guitar like him, the very first exclusive ACT artist ever. Born to Vietnamese parents in Paris in 1959, Nguyên Lê is one of the most versatile and independent guitarists in the world, going far beyond the bounds of jazz music and shaped by varied influences such as Asian music, modern jazz, fusion and classic rock.”



The website quotes Nguyên Lê’s description of what lies at the heart of this collaboration: “Ngô Hồng Quang and I are two Vietnamese musicians whose upbringing and musical education and evolution could not have followed more different paths. And yet we have found that we both share common goals: to express and to share the soul of Việt Nam with the wider world, to bring together the roots and the future of Vietnamese music.”



ACT is considered one of the finest curators of progressive jazz and creative music.



With a roster that boasts some of the most influential contemporary jazz recordings in recent years, including the epoch-defining sound of the sorely missed Esbjörn Svensson Trio and a wide range of leading jazz instrumentalists and singers since its foundation in 1992 by music manager and producer Siggi Loch, German label ACT has grown to become a global force.



Over the past 25 years, ACT has championed an incredible array of jazz artists who are defined by their desire to push musical boundaries while reaching out to a wider audience, with both authenticity and innovation at their core.