Manchester’s longest running music festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, returns with five days of the best northern, national and international contemporary jazz – featuring big-name bands, emerging artists and new works. Champions of musical innovation, this year’s line-up is a great one, with highlights including Andy Scott, the Sarah Tandy Quintet and Werkha. MJF also returns with a fresh new look this year, as well as a new festival hub location and more venues across the city than ever before.
Taking place between the 23 and 27 May, the main festival hub will now run the length of St Ann’s Square to New Cathedral Street. Along the hub, there will be a host of free music stages and bars in addition to the many gigs being staged in venues across the city (with new venues including The Whiskey Jar, YES, The Bread Shed, Deaf Institute and The Anthony Burgess Foundation). As usual, there will also be an adventurous range of culinary delights on offer, with this year’s selection curated in partnership with the Manchester Food and Drink Festival.
Brimming with an eclectic array of classic, new and innovative performances
As for the line-up, Manchester Jazz Festival 2019 opens with a pioneering new commission called Mancunity, which sees British Composer Award-winner Andy Scott leading a procession of local musicians through the city in a piece which reflects the beating heart of Manchester, its people and their resilience. We also look forward to the Sarah Tandy Quintet, whose performance at YES will focus on Tandy’s fantastic new album Infection in the Sentence. A rising talent, she’s one of the most exciting pianists in London’s alternative jazz scene, and a definite one to watch.
Werkha is another highlight of the line-up. After the success of his debut EP Cube & Puzzle, Tom Leah’s infectious fusion of Afrobeat, bass, house, jazz, funk and soul has been a growing underground sensation throughout Europe. His performance at The Bread Shed will be supported by the Mercury Prize-nominated Roller Trio, who blend rock, jazz and electronica to forge a unique, improvisatory sound. Expect a set brimming with experimental energy as they debut their much-anticipated third album.
Elsewhere on the line-up, we look forward to former Jazz Warrior and Blue Note artist Orphy Robinson and his All Stars, who will perform at the RNCM. We also anticipate great things from Sanem Kalfa & George Dumitriu whose performance at the Anthony Burgess Foundation marks their UK debut. Leeds-based electronic soul quartet Noya Rao are similarly ones to watch at Night & Day, where they will be supported by Gondwana Records’ Caoilfhionn Rose.
Brimming with an eclectic array of classic, new and innovative performances, it’s safe to say that MJF is set to be a great one this year.