Thursday, July 01, 2010

Manchester Jazz Festival Announces The Full 2010 Line Up

As some readers of this blog will know, I'm involved with the annual Manchester Jazz Festival that's coming up very soon now. Our lovely team have just put out a press release, so I thought it'd be handy to include it here. The fest is gonna be a goodun:

Manchester Jazz Festival (mjf), celebrates its 15th anniversary with the biggest festival to date, Fri 23 - Sat 31 July 2010

Over 80 bands will play across 8 city centre venues, at all times of the day and night - indoors and out! mjf is all about trying something new - and this year it's easier than ever to discover a world of new music, unlike any other on the jazz festival circuit.

2010 includes musical firsts from Britain and abroad, including the mjf originals commission Surroundings, a new antiphonal suite for jazz orchestra composed by Manchester trumpeter Neil Yates. International debuts come from Spanish pianist Baldo Martinez and Franco-German duo Daniel Erdmann and Frances Le Bras. Other highlights include jazz 'supergroup' Simcock/Walker/Swallow/Nussbaum, featuring Salford-born guitarist Mike Walker, and Phil Bancroft's multi-media Home - Small as the World which features one musician's contribution beamed directly by wi-fi from his Manchester home.

As you’d expect, Band on the Wall, Manchester’s legendary live music venue, is one of mjf’s main venues, with performances from the Indo-Jazz fusions of ex-Mancunian clarinettist Arun Ghosh, to the city’s most revered DJ, Mr Scruff. Even ’80s icon Kid Creole makes a comeback! Also at the venue, the BBC’s flagship jazz radio programme Jazz on 3 will broadcast live from the festival on Monday 26 July.

A multitude of jazz vocalists, all with their own personal approach to jazz, feature in the line up: Terri Shaltiel has the blues, Rodina an Irish lilt, Monika Lidke her Polish folk songs, Alice Zawadzki her Jewish folk songs and An Jacobs her French chanson.

At the other end of the spectrum, there is music for the jazz aficionado too: mjf champions artists who are crossing the boundaries and pushing the music to new limits: The Golden Age of Steam features an unusual line up of bass clarinet, organ and drums, and their soundworld – nothing to do with trains! – evokes swirling soundscapes and contemporary classical music. Jim Hart studied an unusual instrument - the vibraphone - at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester; now he’s one of the UK’s leading exponents and he’s joined forces with Ralph Alessi, the innovative New York-based trumpeter, for his gig to launch the festival on 23 July.

A whole day is also devoted to the energetic and vital rhythms of Afro-Caribbean music. From 2.00pm on Sunday 25 July, take part in special percussion and dance workshops in the Festival Pavilion in Albert Square, and at 8.00pm catch the double bill featuring two of the north west’s foremost ensembles of this genre: Di├íspora, a young 11-piece band with dynamic orchestrations, and Mojito, with authentic Cuban vocalists and a lively percussion section. All you need to add is the rum and the cigar…

mjf introduces continues in the afternoons with 6 new young artists from Greater Manchester launching their careers at the Festival Pavilion in Albert Square. New to the festival this year is a series of afternoon tea events in the award winning French restaurant at the Grade II-listed Midland Hotel.

Steve Mead, mjf’s Artistic Director, says: “There’s an incredible amount of wonderful music in this year’s festival – and so much for free. Not only that, but such a wide mixture of sounds and styles, from twice BBC Jazz Award-winner and singer/songwriter Liane Carroll, bringing her relaxed pop and blues influences into the mix, to the most challenging of artists at the cutting-edge of jazz, like Stuart McCallum (Cinematic Orchestra) and the punky Trio VD. mjf guarantees you a memorable time, whatever your taste.”

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BBC3 Jazz on 3 - register for tickets at

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