April Curtin highlights the events in store at this year's manchester jazz festival.
There’s less than a month to go until the famous manchester jazz festival (mjf) begins its 9-day stint of music-making magic from July 20 - 28. Almost 100 shows will bring the city centre to life, celebrating 23 years of Manchester’s longest running festival. The pressure is certainly on to maintain such an impressive reputation, but some new and exciting additions are sure to make 2018 its best year yet…
Huge efforts have been made to create a festival space that is enjoyable for everyone. An expanded outdoor stage will open up the splendid Albert Square, which transforms into ‘Festival Square’ over the 9 days. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy music in the (hopefully) lovely Manchester weather, and – at this outdoor area – it’s completely free!
If the rain does decide to join us, plenty of indoor venues will be open to continue the party (Band on the Wall, Night & Day and The Midland to name a few). mjf are thrilled to be setting up their 1920s Spiegeltent in Festival Square once again, known as the ‘Salon Perdu’. Nearly half of the events will take place in this stylish oak-panelled venue, which hugs the audience in a circle to create an intimate atmosphere.
After exploring the exciting new music spaces that the festival will be providing, a range of new cuisines will also be available to try. Whether it’s pizza or hotdogs, Thai or Lebanese, veggie or vegan – this festival has everyone covered. For something a little sweeter, Ice Alchemists will be providing Asian style ice cream rolls for the first time this year. For the first time, Brightside Brewing Company will be sponsoring the bar, providing local, multi award-winning beers all day and night.
Finally – but perhaps most importantly – the festival will be bringing a selection of new music to the ears of its audiences. mjf prides itself on celebrating emerging young artists, as well as local, national and international talent. Each year, a new musician is commissioned through the Irwin Mitchell mjf originals scheme to perform: look out for harpist and composer Esther Swift, who will be wowing watchers with her spectacular composition, Light Gatherer.
Swift will not be the only performer playing new material. Multiple artists from multiple genres will perform their unique and innovative work, breaking down musical boundaries to provide original and inspiring experiences for those watching.
For those who do know their jazz – rare visits from big names such as Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain and Chris Potter will be enough to secure your places. A true jazz lover’s dream.
For newcomers and music lovers – if you like sun, fun, food, drinks, singing, dancing, and generally just having a great time – this festival is most certainly still for you.
To book tickets for artists in advance, visit: manchesterjazz.com
Picture courtesy of by Steven Sibbald