Manchester’s growing reputation for live jazz music is set to be catapulted in 2021, with a line-up of established and emerging musicians and two new venue partners.

Manchester-based live music promoters NQ Jazz have established a brand-new partnership with two unique venues in Manchester; 500-seat music-venue, The Stoller Hall and new arts space, The Yard.

Byron Wallen at The Stoller Hall

Byron Wallen at The Stoller Hall

Their latest venture will bring some of the UK’s finest jazz musicians to Manchester for a series of socially distanced lunchtime concerts and masterclasses, evening concerts and live broadcasts. Through a mix of live in-venue performances and high-quality online broadcasts and performance archive, the programme will reach a global audience.

Amongst the artists involved are multiple MOBO award-winning saxophonist and composer Soweto Kinch, seminal vocalist Norma Winstone alongside long-term collaborators Stan Sulzmann and Nikki Iles, plus Jazz FM Instrumentalist of the Year 2016, Mark Lockheart — the renowned saxophonist and bandleader who rose to prominence with the influential big band Loose Tubes.

In addition to established artists, the partnership will champion rising stars and develop young talent, working with Manchester’s prestigious music school, Chetham’s, on a range of public Masterclasses, as well providing opportunities for Manchester’s student community to learn from leading jazz artists by working with the RNCM and the University of Manchester.

BBC Young Jazz Musician competitor and recent Edition Records signing Fergus McCreadie returns in January, performing with his trio in support of their outstanding new album, Cairn. Virtuosic jazz guitarist Rob Luft — a Jazz FM ‘Breakthrough Act’ and Parliamentary Jazz ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ award recipient in 2018 — brings his quintet to the night in March, whilst the superb vocalist and Elftet member Ella Hohnen-Ford brings her own TreeClimbers project to Manchester in April.

NQ Jazz is also pleased to continue its series of live improvised soundtracks to silent film, this time focussed around a ‘seminal sci-fi’ theme, curated by guitarist and music for film expert José Dias. The five film nights will include live scores to classics such as NosferatuThe Lost World and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, from musicians across the improvised music spectrum.

The Covid-safe, socially distanced events will take place if Manchester is in Tier 2 or Tier 1 Covid-19 measures at the time of the event, with audiences given the option of rescheduled dates and online broadcasts if Tier 3 restrictions prevent concerts going ahead as planned.

Emily Burkhardt, Artistic Director at NQ Jazz said:

“We’re delighted to be working alongside a diverse and wonderful spread of partners for our upcoming season, to bring more of the music we love to Manchester via our two brilliant new partner venues. We’re exceptionally proud to present this programme, featuring many of the UK’s most celebrated and exciting musicians.

“With The Stoller Hall being an internationally recognised state of the art concert hall and The Yard being a beautiful & intimate new arts space, bursting with creative vibrancy, we hope that there will be something for everyone in our programme!”

Fran Healey, General Manager of The Stoller Hall, said:

“Creating exceptional live music experiences for our audiences is what we’ve been doing ever since we opened our doors and we’re so excited for that to continue with a year-round programme of live jazz.

“This is a first for The Stoller Hall and for Manchester, where we can champion new music talent through our work with Chetham’s and showcase established musicians on our global stage.”

Jo Hamburger, General Manager of The Yard, said:

“Our values have always been built on showcasing the finest creative talent from and visiting the North West. With this in mind, we are beyond delighted about our new partnership with NQ Jazz, which will bring first class Jazz to the North side of Manchester on Monday nights from January 2021. We look forward to watching the community flourish and grow.”

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NQ Jazz Festival
Festival
Byron Wallen at The Stoller Hall

Manchester’s growing reputation for live jazz music is set to be catapulted in 2021, with a line-up of established and emerging musicians and two new venue partners.

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