2018 hothouse programme names Tosin Akindele, Joseph Spencer (North Trio) and Nishla Smith as round two participants

mjf has awarded places on the second round of its talent development programme hothouse to Manchester-based gospel vocalist Tosin Akindele, Lancashire-based Joseph Spencer of North Trio and Didsbury-based vocalist Nishla Smith.

The award winning manchester jazz festival (mjf) brings its exciting, eclectic and innovative mix of events to a variety of venues across Manchester city centre every July. Recognised for celebrating contemporary jazz through adventurous programming, hothouse is a new mjf strand that sees for the first time the festival operate outside of the nine-day festival period. The scheme will run twice a year for the next three years and offers successful applicants eight weeks of industry mentoring in various areas such as; how to communicate your USP, responding to briefs, budgeting and fundraising.

hothouse is all about working with the artist on an individual basis to understand what they need to overcome barriers in their professional development – getting them to the next stage of their career. The programme will conclude with a ‘by invite only’ work-in-progress performance workshop for industry specialists, other programmers, mentors, festival staff and a few festival friends, where Tosin, her Musical Director David Onac and their collective Voices Beyond,  Joseph and North Trio members Mike Mackenzie and John Dopping and Nishla will have the opportunity to showcase the work that they have created no matter its stage of development and gain specialist feedback.

As hothouse places emphasis on supporting the creative process and giving artists the opportunity to take risks and grow as artists we do not yet know what the outcome of the projects will be. The mjf team are excited to begin working with Voices Beyond, North Trio and Nishla and cannot wait to hear the diverse music that is yet to be created.

For the next three years hothouse is being supported by Help Musicians UK, Arts Council England and a PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development Partner award. The continuity of this support means that mjf will be able to provide a number of northern artists the opportunity to receive bespoke mentoring from the very best in the industry and gain valuable feedback for future project development with the intention of preparing them for the next stages of their careers.

Applications for round three of hothouse will open 3 August 2018, more info here.