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William Ackerman is a Grammy winning guitarist and composer of acoustic-based instrumental music. He founded and ran for many years the influential New Age record label Windham Hill Records.
William Ackerman was born in West Germany but was adopted by a couple who lived in Palo Alto, California. A self-professed poet and musician who briefly studied guitar with Robbie Basho, Ackerman grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended the Northfield Mount Hermon School and Stanford University. Before finishing his studies at Stanford, Ackerman dropped out to become a carpenter. Ackerman had composed some pieces of music for a performance of Romeo and Juliet at Stanford. In 1975, without having played a "paying gig"
Initially William Ackerman kept up his job as a builder but recording music took up more of his time until he was working on music full time. Ackerman ran his music label Windham Hill Records for years. He did just about everything from picking cover art to producing the records. Early albums featured himself (It Takes a Year) and his cousin, fellow guitarist Alex de Grassi Turning:...