2017 Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission awarded to Andy Stamatakis-Brown
Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission 2017, awarded to Andy Stamatakis-Brown, brings Manchester’s ‘Cottonopolis’ past to life with a jazz, video and dance-music experience
The award-winning manchester jazz festival (mjf) brings its exciting, eclectic mix of events to a variety of venues across Manchester city centre from 28 July – 6 August this year. Recognised for celebrating contemporary jazz through adventurous programming, each year the Irwin Mitchell mjf originals strand provides a talented regional artist with an exceptional opportunity to present new work.
This year’s commission has been awarded to pianist and composer, Andy Stamatakis-Brown, who has been a member of the Manchester jazz circuit for the past 15 years. His first major band, ‘6pac’, received the Peter Whittingham Award for an Innovative Jazz project in 2004 and his compositions have been performed across Europe, Australia and the USA. Currently, he leads the ‘Andy Stamatakis-Brown Trio’; plays in the hugely-popular, Manchester-based, ‘Gypsies of Bohemia’ (loved for their lively, gypsy-jazz treatments of contemporary tunes); composes and plays piano for the 10-piece ‘Manchester Jazz Collective’; and also plays piano and synthesisers for ‘Hacienda Classical’ – where dance hits, inspired by the legendary Manchester nightclub, are performed live by an orchestra.
His winning concept for mjf originals – entitled ‘Cottonopolis’ – will explore other iconic aspects of Manchester’s colourful past; its role as the power-house of the industrial revolution, and as the happening heart-beat of the dance music scene. ‘Cottonopolis’ will bring the noise and clatter of a 19th century mill and the excitement and atmosphere of a contemporary club night to manchester jazz festival. The ensemble, drawn mostly from the Manchester Jazz Collective, will showcase the variety of talented players on the Manchester scene.
Andy Stamatakis-Brown said: “I am thrilled to have been awarded the Irwin Mitchell mjf originals 2017 commission. It gives me the opportunity to bring together so many creative people from different parts of my life to present this project. manchester jazz festival gives us a high profile platform to share the sort of thing we like doing – working together to produce an unusually interesting and exciting night out.”
This exceptional, night-long experience of weird and wonderful entertainment will take place in a surprise location in Manchester, with DJs from Space Cassette, and archive and live video projections – developed by Blain Cousin and Ric Lowe from Norvun Devolution – providing an evocative backdrop to a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.
Manchester Jazz Festival’s Artistic Director, Steve Mead, said: “Cottonopolis looks set to become yet another milestone in a long line of ground-breaking new pieces that audiences can savour in this year’s festival programme. I’m especially excited about Andy’s idea to integrate a historical subject close to Manchester’s heart with creative artists from the city’s vibrant DJ and VJ cultures and – of course – a formidable line-up of musicians from the north’s inspirational jazz scene.”
For the fourth year, mjf originals is being sponsored by Irwin Mitchell. The continuity of this support has enabled mjf to pioneer exciting, innovative new works by northern artists. Roy Beckett, regional managing partner at Irwin Mitchell in Manchester, said: “Irwin Mitchell is once again delighted to be sponsoring the mjf originals series. manchester jazz festival continues to go from strength to strength and I think it is appropriate that this year’s Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission, Cottonopolis, celebrates the city’s proud past.”
The Manchester Jazz Festival programme, including full details about ‘Cottonopolis’, will be released early May here on our website and on mjf’s social media platforms, including Twitter @ManJazzFest and Facebook @manchesterjazzfestival