Manchester Jazz Festival is back with a brand new hub in Albert Square. The 22nd festival kicks off at the end of July, and marks the hundredth anniversary of the first jazz record. There are dozens of events across Manchester, so we’ve picked five highlights that should be music to your ears.
1. Andy Stamatakis-Brown: Cottonopolis
The industrial revolution meets 21st century dance music with a specially commissioned piece exploring Manchester’s colourful past. In Cottonopolis (Thu 3 Aug, 8pm, £16.50, www.manchesterjazz.com), a 12-piece ensemble meets mill machinery to create an uncanny club atmosphere. There will be DJs, projections – and more than a little mystery because ticket-holders won’t know the location until the day of the event. Sturdy footwear and warm clothing recommended.
2. Dave Maric, Phronesis and Engines Orchestra: Decade Zero
MOBO-nominated piano trio Phronesis will perform Dave Maric’s ‘Decade Zero’ with string and woodwind players from the award-winning Engines Orchestra (Sat 29 Jul, The Stoller Hall, 8pm, £19.80, www.manchesterjazz.com). Maric has previously created scores for the Royal Opera House and the Northern Ballet Theatre. In a particularly meta twist, his original ‘Decade Zero’ uses loops and rhythms inspired by Phronesis’s high-energy performances. On conducting duties will be Chetham’s alumnus Phil Meadows.
3. Riot Jazz Brass Band
New Orleans is the inspiration for a noisy and joyous appearance by the Riot Jazz Brass Band (Fri 28 Jul, Salon Perdu, 8pm, £19.80, www.manchesterjazz.com). From bass music to hip-hop, this is a thoroughly modern interpretation of jazz history led by Manchester’s quick-witted MC Chunky. Riot Jazz’s dancefloor mayhem will christen Manchester Jazz Festival’s newest venue and central hub Salon Perdu in Albert Square, an art-deco style spiegeltent complete with mirrored bar.
4. Leïla Martial & Valentin Ceccaldi
Manchester Jazz Festival looks to France with Leïla Martial on vocals and Valentin Ceccaldi on cello (Tue 1 Jul, St Ann’s Church, 1.15pm, £8.50, www.manchesterjazz.com). Martial is a virtuoso known for her vocal acrobatics, so expect singing and scatting across a dynamic range as Ceccaldi provides percussive musical motifs. If you want something more populist in the same venue, then you can’t go wrong with chamber jazz group Tiptoe performing work by Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Jackson (Mon 31 Jul, St Ann’s Church, 3.15pm, FREE, www.manchesterjazz.com).
5. Brunches & Afternoon Tea
Hungry for more? You can enjoy Afternoon Tea with sandwiches and scones at the Midland while enjoying appearances from stars of this year’s festival. If that’s too late in the day, there are repeat performances over pastries and rolls at Brunch too. Your musical side-dishes will include The Magic Beans, the Zoe Gilby Trio, the Remi Harris Project and more. Booking required 24 hours in advance (Sun 30 Jul – Sun 6 Aug, The Midland, 11.30am (exc 31 Jul) & 2.30pm, £16.50 brunch, £29.70 tea, www.manchesterjazz.com).
Published on: Thu 3 Aug 2017