mjf futures is an exciting initiative that will ensure manchester jazz festival remains the UK’s leading festival for contemporary jazz – modern, innovative and superbly entertaining.

If you follow mjf you will know that we like to present the kind of jazz you might not find at more traditional jazz festivals.

We are passionate about commissioning new work; showcasing Northern bands; nurturing young, emerging talent and introducing great artists from other countries as well as providing a good number of free gigs to ensure we remain accessible to all.

mjf futures will provide funding to help realise new concepts and ideas that simply would not happen with the very limited core budget we have.

Join the club

Each year, members will support new initiatives for the festival – these may be:

  • to add to our catalogue of landmark commissions;
  • showcase an exciting new collaboration;
  • highlight a European Festival exchange;
  • mentor a young jazz musician;
  • in 2015 mjf futures financed the mjf 20 Summers of Jazz CD – a hand-picked selection of highlight artists from the 2015 festival programme which celebrated 20 years of mjf.
  • mjf hothouse 

How it works

Jazz lovers are invited to join mjf futures with an annual contribution of £500, which can be paid as a one-off donation or by equal instalments, quarterly or even monthly (equivalent to less than £10 per week!).

Each year members will participate in making the mjf futures project a reality, and enjoy a variety of ‘money can’t buy’ opportunities to see behind the scenes, meet the personalities and get that bit closer to the jazz world.

mjf futures

Steve Mead, our Artistic Director explains:

Taking risks is something jazz musicians do every time they step on stage. To grapple with the notion of true improvisation, creating and responding to music in the moment, grasping inspiration seemingly out of thin air, involves taking a chance at any given time that the note they play is the right choice.

Taking risks as I’m putting together the festival programme involves thinking outside the box – taking time to explore ideas that will offer mjf audiences a fascinating and stimulating experience only available at the festival.  But often, to make these experiences a reality requires a deeper investment – time, people and, of course, money – extra resources that can’t be covered by our core funding and ticket sales alone. This is where mjf futures members play an invaluable part. Your membership could support the travel costs to bring an internationally championed artist to mjf for their UK debut; it could provide time for artists to develop new commissioned work; or it could provide the platform for creators and thinkers outside of jazz to collaborate on a new venture. Essentially, your membership helps us realise our core artistic values: championing, commissioning, collaborating.

Why is this important? Well, firstly it gives artists the freedom and opportunity to explore concepts and collaborations that foster the advancement of the artform. It also cements our reputation for pioneering initiatives and for producing creative new work of outstanding quality. The presentation of such work at the festival provides experiences that you, the audience, simply cannot get elsewhere. It’s those bespoke experiences that I’ve focussed on this year for mjf futures members.

mjf futures members help us take risks. Help us to continue to present these ground-breaking artists and projects at the festival, and help us to celebrate mjf’s reputation as one of the most adventurous jazz festivals in Europe.


  • personal dedication on this page of the website (if desired)
  • An Invitation to the Opening Night Party for mjf 2018
  • Opportunities to Meet the Artist – ‘members only’ post or pre-gig access to the three mjf futures series events (as above)
  • Access to the private Garden Lounge in the Festival Square throughout mjf 2018 (subject to availability)


Download the mjf futures Application Form (PDF)

If you have any queries please contact festival@manchesterjazz.com or ring 0161 393 4367.


mjf is delighted to welcome the following individuals to mjf futures and is indebted to them for supporting this new initiative:

  • Phil Cusack
  • John Davies
  • Janet Dunnett
  • Clive Gawthorpe
  • John Helliwell
  • Susi Madron
  • Nasira Majid
  • Roger Stephenson
  • Anita Weightman