Sounds fantastic

mjf is awarded an Arts Council England NPO funding uplift for 2018 – 2022

Leila Martial and Valentin Ceccaldi

Great news for one of the city’s signature summer events as manchester jazz festival is awarded an Arts Council England NPO funding uplift for 2018 – 2022

manchester jazz festival (mjf) – Europe’s most adventurous jazz festival – is celebrating #jazz100 (100 years since the first jazz recording) – with 100 gigs in 100 hours of entertainment. From Friday 28 July – Sunday 6 August mjf offers local communities and visitors to the city an appealing and accessible mix of scintillating programming. mjf introduces new talent, international jazz stars, local gems and the best of the northwest, newly-commissioned music, European debuts, celebrated anniversaries, enjoyable musical encounters and boundary-pushing ideas. The festival is a much-loved part of Manchester City Council’s signature events programme and is also supported using public funding by Arts Council England.  As a double celebration, mjf is delighted to confirm that Arts Council England has just announced that mjf will continue to be one of its National Portfolio Organisations for the period of 2018 – 2022 and has awarded the festival a funding uplift.

The funding will help to ensure that mjf’s live music offer is enjoyed by all and will support mjf with its continued focus on identifying new talent and finding new audiences through collaborations, digital media, and presenting music in fresh and unexpected ways.

Steve Mead, Artistic Director/CEO of Manchester Jazz Festival said: “We’re absolutely delighted with this news. We’ll be investing these much-needed resources into developing our exciting, new, year-round talent development programme, news of which will be announced at this year’s festival in July. We will also strengthen and widen our marketing resource, in order to communicate our programme of work to a much broader listenership, and will bolster our infrastructure to ensure that the mjf of the future is more responsive and resilient than ever before.

This year mjf continues to innovate with a new festival-hub venue – a stunning 1920s Salon Perdu Spiegeltent (one of only a few remaining in the world) where half of this year’s gigs are taking place. There’ll be a Secret Salon finale like no other: an evening of non-stop, kaleidoscopic happenings and gregarious goings-on, the contents of which will only be revealed on the night.  Elsewhere, Andy Stamatakis-Brown, the 2017 Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission winner, presents his new work ‘Cottonopolis’, celebrating Manchester’s iconic past, in a mystery venue. A 12-piece jazz ensemble will combine with the noise of mill machinery to create the atmosphere of a contemporary club night, whilst evoking the rhythmic clatter of a 19th century millhouse: industrial revolution dance music with 21st century players. mjf, in partnership with RNCM, brings the Joshua Redman Quartet to Manchester for its UK debut and sole UK performance of ‘Still Dreaming’. In The Stoller Hall’s inaugural season, Dave Maric’s ‘Decade Zero’ is performed by internationally acclaimed piano trio Phronesis and the award-winning Engines Orchestra in a joint commission involving mjf, Cheltenham Jazz Festival and EFG London Jazz Festival, supported by PRS for Music Foundation.

mjf introduces emerging Mancunian artists like vocalist and song writer Mali Hayes; Plume, a fast-rising quartet of ex-RNCM students inspired by rock and contemporary electronic music; Mighty Stranger led by Caitlin Laing, a talented saxophonist and vocalist studying at RNCM. From the Leeds jazz scene, Têtes de Pois mixes jazz, Afrobeat, hip-hop and neo-soul. Other great Manchester bands include The Breath, with iconic vocalist Rioghnach Connolly, and the premiere of Lis Murphy’s new project ‘_glowe’.

For those wanting to dip their toes in unfamiliar jazz waters, there are plenty of free events, including the mjf introduces gigs in the RNCM and Festival Square, and Jazz North’s northern line showcase of eleven gigs in eleven hours across Central Library, St Ann’s Church and mjf’s Salon Perdu.  Pop along to The Bridgewater Hall for not one but four gigs on separate days: the first featuring lively, young sextet, Toco Madera; the second featuring adventurous piano trio Treppenwitz, the next featuring saxophonist and 2014 BBC Young Musician Jazz Award Winner, Alexander Bone & Friends; and finally bassist Sam Quintana’s energetic group, Wandering Monster – winner of the current ‘Jazz North Introduces’ scheme. Enjoy the vibe with free outdoor bands at various times during the Festival in Albert Square – home to the Salon Perdu, Hobgoblin Bar, tasty street food, the mjf Emporium souvenir shop and the Box Office.

Matt & Phreds jazz club and Band on the Wall join in the fun, with the former unashamedly going big and brass-hard, while the latter presents a line-up including BLOW Trio and Craig Charles’ Funk & Soul Club. mjf extends its winning formula of combining melodious jazz with delicious, quality food at The Midland Manchester by offering jazz brunches – new for 2017 – as well as the popular afternoon teas. Another successful combo returns with Jazz on Film at HOME, this time focusing on documentary and spotlighting unsung British legend Basil Kirchin. Budding young jazz fans need not feel left out as this year sees four family-friendly events included in the programme, with partners including Our Kids Social and The Bridgewater Hall, several featuring the impish talents of sax quartet in residence HSQ, and not forgetting a fun participatory session ‘The Improvisation Salon’ for all those curious to try out improvising for the first time.

Check out our new #mjf2017 promo trailer

Soundtrack provided by Skeltr, one of the eleven Jazz North northern line bands performing at the festival on Monday 31 July (eleven free gigs in eleven hours at various venues). Register in advance to secure your place!

See all mjf bands and book tickets here…