mjf:

  • presents 10 days of live music each July
  • typically features over 500 musicians and 80 events in 7-10 venues
  • presents free gigs – lots of them!
  • stages concerts round the clock, day and night, indoors and out
  • champions our regional jazz artists
  • brings the best contemporary jazz to Manchester from the region, the UK and abroad
  • presents mostly new and original material, with premières and international debuts
  • focuses on musical innovation
  • encourages multiple genres of contemporary jazz and breaks down musical boundaries
  • runs unique strands to commission new work from talented regional artists with our mjf originals and mjf introduces schemes
  • joins forces with Manchester’s leading music venues and promoters: RNCM, Band on the Wall and Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club
  • works with partners including The Midland Hotel; BBC Radio 3; Instituto Cervantes and other Cultural Embassies

mjf welcomes thousands of visitors to the Festival site in Albert Square alone, with hundreds more listeners at the various other concerts and venues throughout the festival. In 2016, mjf celebrates its 21st festival.

The mjf team:

Steve Mead Artistic Director / Mick Waterfield Producer / EJ Trivett Director of Development & Operations/ Kathryn Wolstencroft Marketing Manager / Jenny Thomas Operations Assistant

mjf is a PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development Partner.

mjf is also a founder member of the Jazz Promotion Network.


mjf is a not-for-profit, registered charity. We receive modest funding from Manchester City Council and Arts Council England to enable us to programme a broad, eclectic repertoire not dictated by purely commercial considerations and to keep prices affordable for all, including a number of free events designed to recruit new lovers of the artform for the future. In 2013, an Economic Impact Study undertaken by Manchester Business School reported that mjf generated nearly £7 for every £1 of public subsidy representing a very sound return on investment.

Despite attracting large, enthusiastic and loyal audiences, Jazz remains the Cinderella of arts funding. The number of people attending a jazz event in a typical year stands at around 2.7M, way ahead of opera at 1.7M yet funding for opera in 2015-16 will be around £59M against funding for jazz of under £4M. Classical music’s audience is larger than jazz at 3.3M but its subsidy runs at around £17M. Whatever the varied opinions as to why this is the case, the situation is unlikely to change any time soon and our existing public subsidy, though very gratefully received, is also diminishing.

So we must look to ways of extending our networks more deeply in the local community to benefit from the potential of new relationships and what these might bring to the organisation culturally and politically as well as financially.


mjf is a not-for-profit registered charity No. 1130000.
mjf is a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England, No. 4670534. VAT No. 1 95 0334 09.
Registered office: Elliot House, 151 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WD.