What a real British city jazz festival should look like

Crowds at Manchester Jazz Festival

Crowds at Manchester Jazz Festival

An exceptionally fine international band which is very much of the moment and has a new album to launch; the world premiere of a specially commissioned new work featuring a composer with strong local links; a healthy mix of prestige bands at ticketed venues and a free showcase series of up-and-coming bands from the area; a feature spot for a crucial learning institution in the region; some first UK performances by visitors from other countries, together with first major public performances by musicians just starting out; and strands which extend beyond the music in a meaningful and creative way. Add an insistence upon high quality throughout and these form the vital elements which go together to make a top-notch city jazz festival.

And there is one which contains all those elements about to start in a major English city. It’s called the Manchester Jazz Festival and it’s celebrating its 21st birthday with 81 gigs featuring 550 artists from across the UK and abroad in nine venues between tomorrow and Sunday 31 July.

The Impossible Gentlemen

The Impossible Gentlemen

Highlights include:

  • The Impossible Gentlemen launching their new album Let’s Get Deluxe;
  • A new commission from Beats & Pieces leader and composer Ben Cottrell;
  • An audio-visual late night project from Kit Downes and Tom Challenger – church organ included;
  • The Tim Garland Electric Quartet;
  • Empirical;
  • Jazz North’s northern line showcase in 10 free gigs;
  • The mjf international strand of visiting bands from Europe;
  • The mjf introduces strand of first major public performances;
  • An interactive debate with performances under the title: What happens in our brain when we improvise?

So, an adventurous programme all round from a jazz festival that’s a real credit to its host city. On top of that there will also be a special announcement at a ceremony to be held on the opening day of the MJF. And remember… if you are in Birmingham it’s only a hundred and a bit miles up the road…

  • For full details of the full Manchester Jazz Festival programme go HERE.


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