Manchester Jazz Festival

Manchester Jazz Festival
The Manchester Jazz Festival (MJF, often stylized as mjf) is an annual ten-day jazz festival held in the English city of Manchester. It focuses on showcasing contemporary jazz from North West England and beyond. Founded in 1996, the Manchester Jazz Festival has evolved to become one of the most important music festivals in the United Kingdom.

The first Manchester Jazz Festival was a rather modest single-day event. It featured nine jazz bands that performed in one venue, a DJ, off-stage activities and beer tasting. The festival was originally planned for June but was delayed because of the 1996 Manchester bombing, a terrorist attack carried by IRA in the center of Manchester on June 15. The organizers re-staged the event for August with the same line-up. It was a success, so it was decided to make it an annual occurrence.

The present-day Manchester Jazz Festival offers ten days of live music that sounds practically round the clock in 7 to 10 venues throughout Manchester. The concerts take place day and night, indoors and out. The festival brings together over 500 musicians from the region, the United Kingdom and abroad, offering over 80 events, including lots of free gigs.

The Manchester Jazz Festival focuses on presenting the best contemporary jazz. It is the best place to get acquainted with new and original material, including international premieres and debuts. MJF is an event that encourages musical innovation and experimentation, striving to push the boundaries of contemporary jazz.

The festival is a non-profit registered charity that receives funding from Arts Council England and Manchester City Council. It aims to offer a broad, eclectic line-up which is not dictated by commercial considerations, as well as keep the event affordable for everyone.

In 2016, the Manchester Jazz Festival became the United Kingdom’s first jazz festival to receive the Europe Jazz Network Award for Adventurous Programming. The award is presented by Europe Jazz Network, an association of producers, presenters and promoters who specialize in contemporary jazz, creative music and improvised music created from a clearly European perspective.

Manchester Jazz Festival

Photo: Lee Wild




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