I like to think of myself as a touch bohemian.
I’ve been to Matt and Phred’s more than 10 times, I’ll have you know. And not only when the free pizza offer is on.
To be fair, I’ve also gone international with my fondness for jazz and its clubs, for example paying a visit to New York’s famous Birdland club and last September seeing my birthday in, in a charming little jazz club in Paris, whilst sipping full bodied red and foot tapping and head shaking with the best of them. Get me.
Last night I attended the launch of this year’s Manchester Jazz Festival, and, whilst there, got talking to one of the lovely trustees about the common misconceptions of jazz and the sheer breadth of the genre.
I need no convincing, but understand that many perceive jazz in its most abstract extreme (I quite like that extreme), declaring, just like Johnny (once again betraying my age with an 80s popular culture reference), they…
Although to be fair I hate heavy metal, but this declaration is based solely on my very narrow perception of it to be noisy and scary.
And so, should Manchester hold its own Heavy Metal festival, perhaps I should take my own advice and attend (please don’t, Manchester).
But for now be swayed by my own tastes and share my excitement for this year’s programme of events.
Gathering at Brasserie Abode last night, the said gathered were tantalised with tales of what is to come to our great city, 20 – 28 July 2018.
Manchester Jazz Festival, is indeed the city’s longest running music festival, bringing together contemporary jazz not only from the North West, but from across the UK and, indeed, abroad, including national premieres of original work and international debuts.
Typically more than 60,000 people in attendance, the festival is a mixture of both paid and free gigs, with the aim to be accessible to all, and funded and supported by Arts Council England, Manchester City Council, PRS for Music Foundation, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Irwin Mitchell.
Some of the finest talent in jazz will be showcased at an eclectic range of Manchester venues , including Salon Perdu and Festival Square, Night and Day Café, RNCM, The Midland Hotel, Matt and Phred’s Jazz Club, Band on the Wall and St Ann’s Church.
Highlights of this year’s programme will include:
- Cross Currents Trio featuring Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain, Chris Potter – three living legends of jazz, uniting in a rare UK performance fusing contemporary jazz and world music virtuosity.
- The 2018 Irwin Mitchell mjforiginals commission – Esther Swift: Light Gatherer – Esther’s interest in poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s contribution to the arts, and especially the voice she gives to women, has inspired her to deconstruct Duffy’s works and create new texts using the same themes.
- Hackney Colliery Band – inspired by New Orleans marching bands, Balkan beats, hip-hop, sizzling Latin brass and high-octane rock, with a few unexpected covers of the likes of Goldie, The Prodigy, Kanye West and even (my favourite) Toto, they bring the UK colliery brass band tradition bang up to date.
This is the tip of the jazzy iceberg (whatever that might be), and the full programme can be found on the Manchester Jazz Festival website here.
Kindly provided with a brochure of events by the festival organisers at last night’s launch, I have already set about it like any decent person would with their Christmas copy of the Radio Times, ringing and marking off multiple events coming this July.
With tickets going on sale today, 25 April 2018, at 9am, join me in securing my place at this summer’s hot event, the Manchester Jazz Festival.
For all the latest news, tickets and booking information, head to www.manchesterjazz.com