Manchester Jazz Festival announces virtual 25th Anniversary Edition


The exciting, usually citywide, event will take place as mjf Jazz Unlocked, a digital series of live performances from 21 to 24 May

MJF artists: Olivia Moore, Nani Noam Vazana and Mike Walker
MJF artists: Olivia Moore, Nani Noam Vazana and Mike Walker

Last year saw the MJF move from its regular mid-summer slot to the second May bank holiday, and this year’s 25th anniversary will now take place online with help from United We Stream, the new digital platform set up to support Greater Manchester’s night-time economy. The festival also partners with Jazz North to host livestreamed performances across all three platforms.

The online events will include specially staged, socially distanced live sets from Baked a la Ska, Kirsty Almeida, Jenna G and George King, Ed Kainyek Hidden Gems Quartet, and the latest acts from Hothouse’, the MJF’s bespoke artist development scheme. These include artists such as Archipelago, Ubunye ft. Thanda Gumede, Power Out by Sarah Heneghan, and Lara Jones: EnsŌ.

Further live streams include performances from the living rooms, gardens and balconies of Nani Noam Vazana, Ben Cipolla and Nishla Smith & Tom Harris, alongside exclusive new artist interviews and previously unseen footage looking back at 25 years of mjf originals commissions, featuring Mike Walker, John Ellis, Esther Swift and many others.

Additionally there will be features from Manchester-based Efpi Records with new music and discussion on improvised music made under lockdown. Online premieres of Rob Cope’s moving biopic of trumpeter Richard Turner: A Life in Music, and a brand-new feature film of Mancunity, mjf2019’s opener and original commission by Andy Scott.

There will also be a collection of features from filmmaker Antony Barkworth Knight’s Counterpoint series, spotlighting the creative genius of 808 State’s Graham Massey, HoneyFEET’s Rioghnagh Connolly, Cinematic Orchestra’s John Ellis and Unfurl’s Olivia Moore.

With more acts to be announced, broadcasts run from 8-11pm on 22 and 23 May, and from 12noon to 11pm on Sunday 24 May, across the MJF, Jazz North and United We Stream websites.

For more info and to watch the MJF performances visit manchesterjazz.com

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