Now in its 17th year, the nine-day Manchester Jazz Festival fills city centre venues with a rich range of national and international artists and UK premieres. Highlights include adventurous piano trio A Greater Horror helping kickstart proceedings at the Festival Pavilion in Albert Square (14 Jul, 3pm), a traditional big band experience from saxophonist Stan Sulzmann, accompanied by a 20-piece outfit (RNCM, 17 Jul, 7.30pm), and Mercury Prize-nominated pianist and Courtney Pine collaborator Zoe Rahman performing music from her latest album Kindred Spirits with her quartet (Band on the Wall, 18 Jul, 8pm). A concentration on the contemporary is reinforced by mjf originals, the festival’s scheme encouraging musician-composers to experiment with new ideas – and numerous spin-off mini-programmes, from mjf introduces (giving breakthrough acts a platform) to the popular mjf afternoon tea at the Midland Hotel, add a sense of discovery. A new element for this year is mjf off stage, a participatory series of open rehearsals and post-show discussions offering artists tips and insights, and audiences the opportunity to delve deeper.

Look out for individual event previews over the coming week on Manchester Wire.

Fri 13 Jul – Sat 21 Jul, various venues, Tel: 0161 228 0662, various times, various ticket prices though most events are FREE,

Lauren Strain
Published on:
Mon 9 Jul 2012