Manchester Jazz Festival 2022

Part of our Classical Music in Manchester and the North guide

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Manchester Jazz Festival
Adama Jalloh.

Manchester Jazz Festival 2022, 20–29 May 2022, from £5.00 - Book now

Manchester’s longest running music festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, returns with 10 days of the best northern, national and international contemporary jazz – featuring big-name bands, emerging artists and new works.

First staged in the summer of 1996, the annual festival has grown to feature hundreds of musicians, across 80 – 100 free and charged events each year. 2022’s festival will take place all across the city, at venues including Escape to Freight Island, Band on the Wall, Matt & Phred’s, NQ Jazz at the Yard, St. Ann’s Church, Piccadilly Station and Forsyths.

The line-up features some of the best names in contemporary jazz including Nubya Garcia, Tim Garland, Anthony Joseph, Zoe Rahman, Rum Buffalo and Daniel Casimir. There’ll also be an immersive celebration of rail and water in the form of mjf originals commissions. Lara Jones will perform her new work titled Ensō in a specially-constructed geodesic dome in Manchester Piccadilly station from 19-22 May, while on 27 and 28 May, audio visual artist and performer Ruby Tingle will present Fountainia, her new music inspired by Manchester’s unique relationship with water, particularly its public water features.

Featured highlights include some stellar UK artists appearing in partnership with NQ Jazz: pioneering, award-winning Trinidad-born poet, novelist and academic Anthony Joseph brings his new dedication to poetic ancestors and a coming together of musical generations, The Rich are Only Defeated When Running for their Lives (25 May); Emma Rawicz (24 May) is an award-winning 19-year old saxophonist, composer and “a force to be reckoned with” (Jazzwise); Ivor Novello-nominated saxophonist and composer Alex Hitchcock presents his Dream Band (23 May) featuring sax luminary Rachael Cohen.

At Band on the Wall, the programme includes Tomorrow’s Warriors co-founder and bassist Gary Crosby with Mingus Moves – a celebration of his hero Charles Mingus’ 100th anniversary (28 May); and singer/songwriter/cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson uncovers the hidden stories of her hometown through the lens of her Jamaican heritage, with her unique blend of classically infused jazz, reggae and soul (29 May).

Steve Mead, mjf CEO and Artistic Director, said: “After two years of staging online and restricted live events throughout the pandemic, we simply can’t wait to welcome you back to our 10-day festival, to share some hugely exciting artists at a host of venues across the city. Our Escape to Freight Island weekender was a hit with audiences last year so we’ve been sure to include them in our programme again. We’re also thrilled to team up with the newly reopened Band on the Wall, and revisit some firm favourites such our St Ann’s Church recitals, the ever-popular Matt and Phreds and our partnership with NQ Jazz, whose events are always a huge hit with audiences. As well as taking audiences on a journey across Manchester’s iconic venues, we’re bringing you an array of the very best players, and some surprise happenings that you’ll be able to experience for free across the city centre. We can’t wait for you to join us.”

Manchester Jazz Festival 2022

20–29 May 2022
From £5.00

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