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"...längst hat das Loft Weltruhm erspielt" (Stadtrevue, 2010)
one of "10 of the best jazz clubs in Europe " (the guardian, 2016)
In September 2009 the Loft celebrated its twentieth birthday, an almost biblical age for an operation of such quality and with such an aura, all run single-handedly. The actual foundation of the Loft took place in 1986, the same year as the opening of the Cologne Philharmonic Hall and the concert hall in the Stadtgarten.
Directly next to the Musikhochschule on Unter Krahnenbauemen Street, an area steeped in history, Hans- Martin Mueller (flutist of the WDR Symphony Orchestra and back then a teacher at the Musikhochschule) rented an unused workshop for his workspace and especially as an open forum for music. The location was ideal however some of the neighbours were disturbed by the sounds. Painter Sigmar Polke was one of them and carries the honour of having ended the Loft´s first rent contract with a private agreement.
In 1987, after an intensive search, the top floor in the Wissmann Strasse 30 building was found and rented from the photographer Josef Snobl; two years later it was purchased. After extensive renovation and extension the first rehearsals and concerts began in 1988. The official date for the beginning of the regular program in Loft is however September 1989, in this month the first Steinway piano was put into operation. Since that date, concerts (and in earlier days exhibitions) are a regular occurrence in the former Perfume factory. In the course of time, the factory floor became highly regarded as a performance space for improvised, contemporary, and Jazz music, both nationally and internationally. Most Cologne Jazz musicians who have risen to international recognition took some of their first career steps in Loft, representative of these are Nils Wogram, Hayden Chisholm, Florian Weber, Frank Gratkowski, and Paolo Alvares.
New Music also found a home in the Loft and the Cologne Society for New Music also choose to make its base in the same building as the Loft, promoting several workshops and concerts. Figures such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauric