mjf_original_largemjf originals is our scheme that seeks out and pioneers new jazz. Every year musician-composers from the region are invited to propose ideas for a new work to be unveiled at the festival. The coveted support allows artists to reach new levels and offers mjf audiences an exclusive and memorable experience. mjf is proud to stage ground-breaking new jazz from talented creators.

Anton Hunter awarded the 2014 Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission

We were delighted that this years Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission was awarded to fast emerging Manchester guitarist / composer Anton Hunter. Anton created Article 11, a suite of music for an 11 piece ensemble that was premiered to a sold out audience at MJF in July.anton

Anton, who is a key player in bands such as Beats n Pieces and Skamel, is one of many regional musicians who have been nurtured through mjf introduces. Commissioned as a major artist, his ensemble brought together North West and national players together with musicians from Finland and Norway within a truly innovative creative process.

Anton said: “This was an amazing experience for me and I was grateful to be given the mjf originals commission for 2014. It came at just the right time to boost my career as a writer and player. There aren’t many opportunities to try out ideas like this and MJF is a fantastic supporter of Manchester music and of new ideas”.

Anton’s idea for the piece struck us as an intriguing way of creating a new piece of work, which brought in the audience from the outset to share the process. Listeners were exposed to a new sound world fusing Anton’s interests in improvisation, rock and classical genres, with outstanding musicianship from the players in the ensemble. MJF are also grateful to Irwin Mitchell on board as the new sponsors of the series.

Anton has shared his creative thoughts and processes throughout the project within a blog. To explore the ideas behind Article XI and re-live the performance please visit: www.manjazzfest.wordpress.com 

Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission

The Irwin Mitchell mjf originals 2014 commission focused upon the commitment to support and commission completely new work, giving a platform to encourage and inspire talented young local jazz musician Anton Hunter.

“It was a great event and a good example of arts patronage at its best”-  Manchester Evening News

Manchester Jazz Festival and Irwin Mitchell are looking forward to continuing a 3 year partnership and are excited to continue supporting and commisioning new works from local jazz musicians in 2015.

At the time of announcing the partnership Grahame Codd, Regional Managing Partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, said “Manchester Jazz Festival is a firm fixture in the city’s cultural calendar and Irwin Mitchell is delighted and excited to be sponsoring the mjf originals series. We have a close affiliation with the festival having most recently provided pro-bono legal advice for the relocation of its headquarters on Fountain Street, and we look forward to taking this relationship further.”

Further information regarding the 2015 Irwin Mitchell mjf originals programme will be announced in the spring.