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Manchester Jazz Festival 2022 concert
Manchester Jazz Festival 2022 concert
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Manchester City Centre

Manchester Jazz Festival


Manchester Jazz Festival brings the best new emerging jazz artists, homegrown talent, and living jazz legends to the city centre every May for ten days of live performances, many of which are free.

It’s the city’s longest-running music festival (the first one was held back in 1996, and had to be delayed a few months because of the IRA bomb). It’s also one of its most visible and accessible, with performances taking place in public spaces, bars, and music venues across the city centre.

Ibibio Sound Machine performing at Band on the Wall

Manchester Jazz Festival 2024

This year’s festival runs from 17-26 May 2024. Highlights include John Surman, Courtney Pine, Laura Misch, Nikki Iles, Tim Garland, Sarāb, Julian Joseph, Laura Jurd, Nubiyan Twist, Daniel Erdmann, Trish Clowes & Ross Stanley, and many more.

It kicks off with a free opening weekender at First Street (17-19 May) where there’ll be three stages celebrating the best homegrown talent, as well as national and international names. Food and family-friendly activities will be on offer too.

Throughout the festival, you can catch shows at The Deaf Institute (The Lodge), Stoller Hall, The Carlton Club in Whalley Range, St Ann’s Church, Matt & Phreds, RNCM, and Forsyth Music Shop. The festival closes with an extended weekend-long party at Band on the Wall.

Look out for the new ‘mjf originals’ commission Séance – a moving musical performance that transforms The Deaf Institute into a space for connection. Built around voicemail messages from lost loved ones, artists Verity Watts and Rosie Parsons, will invite audiences to come together over shared experiences of loss and grief.

The piano trail makes a comeback this year. Manchester Jazz Festival and Forsyth Music Shop have joined forces to create a trail of 12 street pianos at locations across Manchester city centre.

Tickets for Manchester Jazz Festival range from free to £30. Go to Manchester Jazz Festival 2024 to see the full festival line-up.

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