It was once officially cancelled – but thankfully this year’s Manchester Jazz Festival was later revived as an online-only event. Starting this Thursday 21 May, the four-day long extravaganza will feature a plethora of living room solo performances and socially distanced concerts. There will also be exclusive artist interviews, archive footage, reviews and label showcases. Below are just three events worth checking out…

Both Sides of Africa | Sat 23 May | 10pm-11.30pm

Here’s another chance to catch a performance from last year’s festival. Cellist Abel Selaocoe mixes South African folk songs with classical chamber music. Pianist and singer-songwriter Nani Noam Vazana performs North African music and traditional Sephardic singing – and in this collaborative show that unfolds with a wealth of stories and beats, the duo bring together the two extremes of the continent.

The Future of Live Music | Sat 23 May | 9pm-10pm

Festival Chair Dr Kirsty Fairclough will lead a lively panel discussion that’s all about gigging in the time of Corona. On hand to talk about this hot button issue will be Sacha Lord (Warehouse Project/Parklife), Richard Leese (Manchester City Council), Michelle Kuypers (North Sea Jazz Festival), and Yemi Bolatiwa (Vocalist). It’s a Question Time-style event, so you can submit your questions live via Facebook.

MJF Hothouse Showcase | Sun 24 May | 12pm-4.30pm

The festival has a scheme called Hothouse, which is aimed at unsigned musicians who haven’t yet secured a major commission. It helps artists develop ideas, hone their craft and move their careers on to the next step. On Sunday afternoon, there will be live music and specially recorded performances from Hothouse artists. Later, there’s interviews and discussions with recent graduates of the scheme.

Thu 21 May - Sun 24 May
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Thu 21 May 2020