Manchester Jazz Festival 2018 | a jazz plus guide

In 2018, the MJF is celebrating its 23rd Festival.  This 9-day cross-city, cross-venue festival celebrates the jazz scene of the North West, as well as original artists from the rest of the UK and around the world.  With over 500 musicians taking part in over 80 events, we’ve helped you out and picked 11 gigs that need to be top of your calendar.

Friday 20th July

Binker and Moses | Band on the Wall, 1930 |  This drum and sax duo have been making waves on the scene in the last couple of years, picking up accolades at the MOBOs, the Jazz FM Awards and the Parliamentary Jazz Awards.  Their 2017 double side album Journey to the Mountain of Forever follows from the success of their debut album Dem Ones.

Monday 23rd July

Artephis | Salon Perdu, 1200 | Trumpeter Aaron Wood’s project wowed us last year with their debut album, fusing afrobeat, hiphop, funk, flamenco and electronica – stretching the boundaries of jazz. Yes! They are only on for 40 minutes – get to see them if you can!

Manchester Jazz Collective | Salon Perdu, 1750 | Part of what makes Manchester’s young jazz scene so exciting is the sheer amount of crossover of players between projects.  This new collective showcases large scale tunes varied by palette and compositional approach.

Tuesday 24th July

Kinkajous | Band on the Wall, 1930 | Band on the Wall have got a couple of free entry nights happening throughout the festival – you’ll want to make sure you sign up for free tickets and head over to hear London-based Kinkajous perform as part of an eclectic line up.  Drawing on jazz and electronica, this quintet give birth to an innovative path to nu jazz.

Glowrogues | Salon Perdu, 2000 | Everyone’s favourite funk and hiphop collective is back in Manchester following their critically acclaimed live album release and tour in Autumn 2017.  Their grooves weave a tapestry that oozes heady ambient pop and tight horn filled choruses.

Mali Hayes (+ We Are Leif) | Night and Day, 2030 | This Mancunian singer-songwriter wowed the Festival last year, and she’s back with her band, floating effortlessly between neo-soul and R&B. Bristol’s We Are Lief support.

Friday 27th July

Beats & Pieces Big Band | Salon Perdu, 2000| The jazz juggernauts will be back in their hometown, having returned from a tour of North America, with fresh new material.  We’re hoping for tunes from across their 10 year existence, too.

Saturday 28th July

Fabled | Salon Perdu, 1300 | Formed by saxophonist/clarinettist Sam Rapley in 2014, Fabled presents a unified vision of a reimagined jazz quintet through a range of diverse influences including Debussy and Bon Iver.

Big Bad Wolf | Festival Square, 1400 and 1600 | Progressive rock meets with ambient melodies and strong grooves.  Their egalitarian process of composition through improvisation has helped create a soundworld that is as fun as it is explorative.

Maria Chiara Argiró Group | Salon Perdu, 1500 | This quintet fuses classical, jazz and folk influences, led by pianist Maria Chiara Argiró.  Live electronics help to add a new textural element to the beautiful melodic writing of this group.

Hackney Colliery Band (+ Namvula) | Salon Perdu, 2000 | Jazz-infused New Orleans brass bands are exploding onto the UK scene, and we are seeing a wealth of young talented bands hit our city streets.  Hackney Colliery Band have had an incredible couple of years at the forefront of this scene, including releasing some great records on the Wah Wah 45s label, and performing at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.  With African inspired dance grooves thanks to support Namvula, this will be one hot dance-fuelled night!

The Manchester Jazz Festival runs from Friday 20th July – Saturday 28th July.  For more information and to purchase tickets click here.

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