Manchester Jazz Festival returns to our city this month, hosting 100 gigs across Manchester over ten days of music, with a central hub of a stunning 1920s Salon Perdu in Albert Square. Bigger and better than ever, the festival will be treating fans to an array of talent across various venues, some of which you can enjoy for free. We’ve picked out a few shows you can feast your ears on without spending a penny. You may need to pre-register for some events, so please see Manchester Jazz Festival’s website for details.

Archipelago

// Faye MacCalman fronts the reeds/bass/drums trio from Newcastle, drawing on garage rock, noise, minimalism and free improvisation. Riffs, silence, noise, grooves and the avant garde are fused together within a fluid performance that constantly evolves. The trio perform in the surrounds of our Central Library on Monday 31st July.

Plume

// This young Mancunian quartet of ex-RNCM students have quickly found fans with a mix of rock, contemporary electronic music and minimalism, with soulful vocals spiralling over rich, funk-infused grooves and textures. See them at the Hobgoblin Festival Square at 6:30pm on Wednesday 2nd August.

Mali Hayes

// Young Mancunian vocalist and songwriter Mali presents her 9-piece band with multiple influences of jazz, rock, neo-soul and R’n’B – a quirky, funky sound with nods to Hiatus Kaiyote and Erykah Badu. Catch her at the Hobgoblin Festival Square on Tuesday 1st of August. We’re also excited to be giving away Hayes’ album ‘Quiet Silence’ with a special bundle of Jazz Festival prizes.

Skeltr

// This energetic new duo from Sam Healey sees roaring sax lines soar above electronic soundscapes and samples – manipulated live in the moment – creating a striking, expansive sound with a buzzing energy at its core. See the duo for free in the Salon Perdu on Monday 31st.

Ushaw Ensemble

// Also taking to the Salon Perdu on Monday 31st are the Ushaw Ensemble, which sees pianist Paul Edis “melding his forte in modern jazz with traditional music from the north east”. Catch them from 5pm.

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The Manchester Jazz Festival takes place from the 28th July – 6th August. Tickets for events are available here.

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