Manchester Jazz Festival 28 July – 6 August 2017
The 2017 #mjf2017 line-up sees the city-wide festival return to Manchester for a 22nd year. Bigger, bolder and of course with more brassy tones than ever before, the festival celebrates the #Jazz100 campaign by programming a collection of 100 gigs in 100 hours of music over 10 exciting days. 

Andy Stamatakis-Brown: Cottonopolis, Mystery Venue, Thursday 3 August
Steve explains, a pivotal festival value is to commission new work every year and this year is no exception as we see the Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission winner Andy Stamatakis-Brown create Cottonopolis, a piece drawing inspiration from Manchester’s historic cotton trade routed through 21st century Manchester. Cottonopolis brings the sounds of a 19th century mill and the excitement and atmosphere of a contemporary club night to a secret location only revealed to ticket holders the day before the big event. 

David Maric, Phronesis and Engines Orchestra: Decade Zero, The Stoller Hall, Saturday 29 July
Another commission taking place during the 2017 festival programme is a three-way partnership that sees manchester jazz festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival and EFG London Jazz Festival work together for the first time. Internationally acclaimed piano trio Phronesis is joined by an octet of string and woodwind players from the award-winning Engines Orchestra, conducted by Chetham’s alumnus Phil Meadows, to perform Decade Zero by composer Dave Maric. Not only is the piece a moving, merging of ensembles but the first-time UK jazz festivals have worked in unity to co-commission a new work. 

Mali Hayes, Hobgoblin Festival Square, Tuesday 1 August 
Plume, Hobgoblin Festival Square, Wednesday 2 August 

Additionally, mjf introduces continues to provide a platform for local, young people between the ages of 16 – 25, who gain their first major festival appearance at mjf. Fast-rising Mancunian artist Mali Hayes brings her 9-piece band to the Hobgoblin Festival Square, as well as ex-RNCM quartet Plume, who will also be performing there. No ticket needed - just turn up and enjoy! 

Riot Jazz Brass Band, Salon Perdu, Friday 28 July 
The Breath, Salon Perdu, Saturday 29 July 
Baked à la Ska, Salon Perdu, Friday 4 August

We also continue to support local artists and bands such as The Breath, who bring their unique mixture of folk, indie and jazz to Salon Perdu in Albert Square. Festival favourites Baked à la Ska also return this year bringing their assortment of skank, Afrobeat and quirky covers. Local heroes Riot Jazz Brass Band open this year’s festival with their juxtaposition of aggro jazz, hip-hop samples, funked-up favourites, re-interpreted dubstep, drum ’n’ bass and dancefloor bangers that never fail to entertain. 

Lis Murphy: glowe_, Salon Perdu, Tuesday 1 August
Premiering her first ever project as leader, Lis Murphy brings glowe_ to Salon Perdu. A passionate community music activist, Lis’ work glowe_ is a diverse and hauntingly beautiful collection of songs conveying the intense darkness and light from war, loss and love. Inspired by Bjork, Roma music, Radiohead, Juno Reactor, Sevdah, Kraftwerk and Shostakovich, it showcases her heartfelt writing and singing talents, and features fellow vocalist Mali Hayes. 

Double bill: Andrew Woodhead: Pocket Piano + Run Logan Run, Central Library, Wednesday 2 August
Returning to Manchester Central Library mjf presents a variety of left-field, afternoon gigs in the form of a harp quartet, a trio of electric guitars and Andrew Woodhead who brings his tiny pocket piano, a hand-built synthesiser, made up of 16 wooden keys and 4 unlabelled knobs. After exploring its capabilities and outer limits, Andrew improvises sweeping soundscapes, using intricate, shifting textures and simple melodies.

Leïla Martial and Valentin Ceccaldi, St Ann’s Church, Tuesday 1 August 
Kaja Draksler, St Ann’s Church, Wednesday 2 August

As always we have on offer a multitude of international artists such as Leïla Martial and Valentin Ceccaldi, two stellar French artists who unite in the unlikely combination of voice and cello, and the inventive, percussive, Slovenian solo pianist Kaja Draksler, who brings her breathtaking skills to St Ann’s Church. 

These are just a handful of the gigs happening over this year’s ten-day festival period, taking place in an eclectic mix of environments from St Ann’s Church, Central Library and Matt & Phreds, to Band on the Wall and RNCM. The 1920s Salon Perdu Spiegeltent is this year’s main venue and is not to be missed: a rare 1920s Spiegeltent that will be erected in Albert Square for the entire festival period.  With only a dozen left in the world, we cannot guarantee that it will ever return to Manchester again! 

Steve encourages you to come down and have a listen to what mjf has to offer, as we celebrate #jazz100 and the astounding breadth of music styles that unite under the banner of jazz. 

For more information, visit manchesterjazz.com.

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