Manchester Jazz Festival returns this May, taking some of the city’s most iconic and beloved venues.

Headliners include John Surman, Courtney Pine, Laura Misch, Nikki Iles, Tim Garland, Sarāb, Julian Joseph, Laura Jurd, Nubiyan Twist, Daniel Erdmann, Trish Clowes and Ross Stanley.

The festival kicks off with a free opening weekender at First Street from Fri 17 – Sun 19 May. There will be three event stages — the Main Stage, Ask Garden Stage and HOME stage, each celebrating the breadth and individuality of Manchester’s home-grown jazz scene, alongside a plethora of international talent, family-friendly activities and food and drink.

This year also sees the addition of three new partner venues, with The Deaf Institute (The Lodge), Stoller Hall and The Carlton Club in Whalley Range joining alongside mjf regulars like St Ann’s Church, Matt & Phreds, RNCM, Forsyth Music Shop and Band on the Wall.

The festival is also hosting a new mjf originals commission Séance – a moving musical performance, transforming The Deaf Institute into a space for connection. Built around voicemail messages from lost loved ones, artists Verity Watts and Rosie Parsons, will invite audiences to come together over shared experiences of loss and grief.

The famous mjf piano trail is also making a comeback, as the festival joins forces with Forsyth Music Shop to discover the city’s best hidden pianists. From Thu 18 Apr – Sun 26 May, the trail encourages everyone to get creative and share their talent and for those who want to take part, there’s a chance to enter a competition to win a Yamaha P-45B piano and many more prizes.

Steve Mead, mjf CEO and Artistic Director, said: “We can’t wait to welcome you back to our 10-day festival to share some hugely inspiring artists with a host of venues and partners across the city.

“mjf is acknowledged for championing northern talent, under-the-radar artists and debuts of new music, as well as bringing some big names to Manchester, and of course for celebrating the diversity of our music and its artists. This year, I’m especially pleased to be able to welcome international artists back to mjf after 5 years, with a host of UK debuts and special collaborations, notably with France and Ireland, but also featuring Norway, Finland, and Germany.

“For many, mjf is the sound of surprise – it’s the sound we love and we hope you will too. We can’t wait for you to join us.”

Ticket prices range from free to £30, with plenty of free-to-access music and activities taking place at locations across the city centre, including the huge opening weekend.

You can find more information and the full schedule so far on the Manchester Jazz Festival website.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Fri 17 May - Sun 26 May, Various city centre venues
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Mon 18 Mar 2024