mjf hothouse gets rid of traditional written application forms. We want you – the artists and bands – and your music to speak for itself, and we want hothouse to open doors to those of you who might not have the knowledge, experience or time to fill out lengthy application forms. We really want to hear from those artists who are new to – or put off by – applying for opportunities like this. We are firm believers that the most well-written application form does not necessarily reflect the artistic ability of the artist!

We want to hear about the music you want to create with hothouse, especially music that:

  • fills a gap;
  • isn’t being made by anyone else;
  • celebrates a particular idea, place, group of people or event;
  • celebrates communities or people that aren’t represented very much in mainstream programmes;
  • explores new ways of incorporating improvisation into other music genres;
  • you want to make but for some reason can’t.

mjf hothouse will be running twice a year for the next three years and has already seen one cycle of applicants participate with them stating: “I have been given a wonderful mentor by mjf for this project, Julia Payne. The mjf team identified that I needed a mentor with contacts beyond the north and she is a perfect match” – Maja Bugge and jazz is difficult to start with, it’s reassuring to have a programme that offers easier application” – Vicente Magalhaes.

What hothouse offers you:

  • Paid rehearsal time
  • 8 weeks of one to one mentoring with an industry specialist chosen to suit your needs (previous mentors include Julia Payne, The hub and Stuart McCallum, Cinematic Orchestra)
  • Bespoke workshop day
  • Open rehearsal showcase for industry professionals with opportunity to gather their feedback
  • An opportunity to overcome barriers that have prevented you from furthering your career as a musician
  • The chance to develop an idea that you haven’t yet been able to do

*Please note that the paid time for participating in the hothouse programme is calculated on a set fee for the lead artist and an additional fee for supporting artists. More information will be provided at the interview stage.

1. Check the key dates

Please note that applications are only open for 5 weeks per round of the scheme.

The deadline for sending us your application is Monday September 10 at 12pm. – After this date, the application form will no longer be available. Interviews will be held between 20 – 21 September 2018

  • If you haven’t heard from us by the end of September, please assume we have not been able to offer you a place in the scheme this time. We regret that we are unable to offer feedback on submissions.
  • You will need to visit Manchester four times during the programme. For the initial informal interview on the 20 or 21 September 2018, for the workshop days on the 3 and 4 October (tbc) 2018 and on the 28 November 2018 for the open rehearsal showcase (tbc).

2. Check you have everything for submission (e.g. a video recording device)

  • There’s a simple online form to fill in that asks for your contacts and a few other details. And you’ll need to record us a video of yourself explaining your ideas. To give yourself the best chance of getting onto the scheme, please make sure you send us the highest quality content you can. Practice first.
  • You’ll need to provide the names and contacts for two referees who will be willing to provide a reference for your abilities.
  • You’ll need to tell us about 2 of your proudest musical moments (you’ll talk about these in your video submission).

3. Check the eligibility criteria:

The only 4 rules are:

1. It must be something new that you haven’t performed to a live audience before

2. It must contain jazz – whatever that means to you – and improvisation

3. You must be based in the north of England

4. You must be aged 18+

*Please note hothouse can only support a maximum number of 8 artists/musicians per band/ensemble. If your band/ensemble exceeds this number please contact festival@manchesterjazz.com for further discussion.

4. Sending mjf your video

So that you don’t have have to create YouTube or Dropbox accounts we are accepting your video applications through WeTransfer. This is a simple method of sending larger files over email without having to register. 

  • Visit Wetransfer.com or click here. 
  • Click ‘add your files’ and attach your hothouse video.
  • In the ‘Email to’ section add submissions@manchesterjazz.com
  • In the ‘Your email’ section add the email address you’ve put on your accompanying contact form.
  • In the message section give the full name of the main contact that you have supplied in the accompanying contact form.
  • Click ‘Transfer’ and wait for the transfer to complete.

Your video needs to discuss: 

  1. Your artistic concept 

  2. Who you’d need to work with to make your project possible

  3. The barriers that are stopping you from reaching your goal 

  4. Your proudest musical achievements

  5. A 2-minute clip of you and/or your band playing original music

If we like the sound of your ideas, we’ll invite you to take it further through the rehearsal and mentoring process. At this early stage, we don’t expect you to have everything worked out. We want to work with you during the process to help you express your ideas and make sure you have the chance to explore all the possibilities. You’ll receive expert guidance on all aspects of music making on how to develop your ideas and make music that expresses your ideas and reaches people. You’ll have to commit to performing your music ideas at an open rehearsal showcase event in front of an invited audience of industry specialists, other programmers, mentors, festival staff and a few audience members.

There’s no requirement for you to produce a full finished performance of your new music, but we may, where appropriate, offer you the opportunity to develop your work further for future performance at mjf.

Don’t forget, you also get paid for rehearsing and showcasing your work during hothouse, so you and your band won’t be out of pocket for your time!

Good luck and let’s hear from you…