Welcome to the colorful sounds of New York's freshest and sharpest latin / jazz and rock indie CD label! ZOHO was founded in September, 2003 by Bielefeld, Germany - born, but New York based producer and music industry veteran Joachim “Jochen” Becker, after having worked for many years in international marketing in consumer packaged goods industries in Germany, the U.S. and Hong Kong.
ZOHO has quickly distinguished itself as one of the most talked-about and creative voices on the U.S. jazz indie label scene, with a catalog of presently over 180 CD releases. Three GRAMMY wins (2007, 2009, 2018) and three LATIN GRAMMY wins (2005, 2010, 2014), several additional GRAMMY and LATIN GRAMMY nominations, plus several further awards and “Best of Year”list inclusions in the Wall Street Journal, Billboard, Downbeat, Jazz Times and others, demonstrate that ZOHO has been able to establish a quality reputation second to none among American “boutique” indie jazz labels.
ZOHO started with the vision of presenting a latin / jazz label with a distinctive “New York vibe” listen to any group of ZOHO releases, and you’ll hear what’s presently new, fresh and happening in the New York clubs! At the same time, the label’s releases of the past 14 years have formed a unique roadmap across the current state of the many fascinating Latin musical subgenres, from Tango to Bossa Nova, from Afro-Cuban Salsa to Venezuelan Merengue, from Colombian Cumbia to Haitian Creole Jazz!
The label has been fortunate in attracting a unique mix of major, internationally recognized, and mostly New York area-based artists such as Arturo O’Farrill, Pablo Ziegler, Hendrik Meurkens, Duduka da Fonseca, Trio Da Paz and Hector Martignon to ZOHO. Additionally, the label is proud to present many young, up-and-coming latin and jazz musicians from the dynamic downtown New York club scene, including Fernando Garcia, Pedro Giraudo, Gregorio Uribe, The O’Farrill Brothers and Dongfeng Liu.
Already in 2006, ZOHO saw an opportunity to expand into Blues, Southern and Classic Rock with a new ZOHO ROOTS imprint, with featuring artists including Ike Turner, Bonnie Bramlett, The Pretty Things, Jimmy Hall, The Brothers of the Southland, The Persuasions, and many others.
This expansion was then followed already in 2007 by another ZOHO’s first Classical release featuring the extraordinary Brazilian acoustic guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima, in the ZOHO CLASSIX imprint.
Of the many CD projects submitted to ZOHO for release consideration each month which ones become ZOHO CDs? What’s the unifying element among the wildly diverse musical styles on ZOHO CD releases? - ZOHO stands for “colorful, in-your-face, lively, urban attitude, authentic, taking creative risks, distinctive, fun”. ZOHO does not do “soft, generic, pleasant, background music, Ivory Tower-academic, or, Lord help us boring”.
So what’s “ZOHO”, you might ask? ZOHO is an intentional misspelling of “SoHo” (= “south of Houston Street”), New York’s lower Manhattan neighborhood in whose vibrant jazz club scene a lot of our artists perform regularly.
Finally what’s next on ZOHO? Count on ZOHO for a continuous stream of exciting future CD releases by established long-term ZOHO artists, fascinating newcomers to the scene, and “refugees” from the rosters of major labels who prefer the individual, personalized attention to artist needs which only an owner-operated indie label can provide.
Joachim “Jochen” Becker