This summer “Europe’s most adventurous jazz festival” returns to our city for the Manchester Jazz Festival. Bigger and better than ever, the festival hosts 100 gigs across the city over ten days of music, now with a central hub of a stunning 1920s Salon Perdu in Albert Square. To assist you when navigating a minefield of talent and events, allow us to highlight a few gigs in particular you won’t want to miss. Here are our top ten events to look out for at the festival, each offering something a little different to the last…
// The “peace-lovin’ aggro” of Riot Jazz is set to open MJF 2017 at the Salon Perdu on Friday 28th with a funked-up night of jazz, funk, soul and hip-hop. The nine-piece brass band’s energetic displays have gained them a cult following Manchester; this will be their third show in the city this year.
// Craig Charles’ club night is quickly becoming a staple of the UK festival scene, now one of the biggest and friendliest club nights around. His collection of all things funk and soul from the roots of black music through to the current club sounds are always a hit on the dance floor. The DJ will be hotting up opening weekend at Band On The Wall.
// In the footsteps of a lengthy tradition of brass bands in Indian music, percussionist, bassist and composer Shri Sriram has set to rework the genre with album ‘Just A Vibration’. This “powerful & innovative meeting of musical minds and imaginations” will be helping close the opening weekend at the Salon Perdu.
// London alto sax newcomer Camilla George takes over the magical 1920s Salon Perdu for a Sunday afternoon of rich feel-good sounds, with one eye/ear on African roots jazz, along with a twist of calypso and hip hop.
// Away from the stage, HOME are hosting a series of three jazz films, including Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise. Also screening is ‘Mind on the Run: The Basil Kirchin Story’ and ‘The Case Of The Three-Sided Dream’. Don’t miss this incredible chance to catch these films on the big screen.
// World-renowned saxophonist Joshua Redman’s brings his new group, the Still Dreaming quartet, to the RNCM Theatre. Together they will revisit the “Old and New Dreams” quartet of the 1970s and 80s, a renowned quartet of great Ornette Coleman. Expect plenty of Coleman’s compositions and original works, as Joshua Redman “fulfills his birthright and explores his heritage” with this historic material.
// Andy Scott leads his 14-piece sax colossus on Tuesday evening at the Salon Perdu, including virtuosi John Helliwell, Mike Hall and Gwilym Simcock. The group’s skilful and dazzling mastery of the saxophone is expected to be one of the shows of the festival.
// The enigmatic BLOW Trio take over Band On The Wall with a late set on opening day. The young Belgian trio have quickly gained a following fusing jazz, punk and dance music through energetic live stage shows and unusual street performances.
// This year’s commissioned work, Cottonopolis, is a night-long exploration of iconic aspects of Manchester’s colourful, industrial and cultural past. A twelve-piece ensemble will combine with industrial noise to create the club night atmosphere. To throw a little mystery into the mix, no one is quite sure where this Cottonopolis will be held… yet. However, wherever you’ll end up, you’re recommended to wear “sturdy footwear & warm clothes”…
// These two French talents unite at the height of their powers for an incredible marriage of voice and cello. Martial’s soaring, swinging and soft vocal prowess is the perfect accompaniment to Ceccaldi’s percussive and intelligent cello. This stellar duo will be performing inside the beautiful surrounds of St Ann’s Church.
The Manchester Jazz Festival takes place from the 28th July – 6th August. Tickets for events are available here.