The first tickets are now on sale for the 24th Manchester Jazz Festival, as the city’s longest running music festival returns with a new look.

mjf 2019 heads back to the city from May 23 – 27. Along with a change of date, the main festival hub will now run the length of St Ann’s Square to New Cathedral Street with a host of free music stages and bars. As always, gigs will also be staged in venues across the city.

For the first time, mjf have teamed up with Manchester Food and Drink Festival, who will curate an exciting mix of culinary offers along the festival hub.

mjf is offering a £5 ticket offer for under 25 year olds at selected gigs for a limited time only to welcome the city’s student population and celebrate the first term time mjf in more than 20 years.

mjf Artistic Director Steve Mead said: “2019 sees us leave our Albert Square home for the foreseeable future due to the extensive renovations taking place in Manchester’s Town Hall. We’ve worked really hard to find a suitable new home and after a lot of research, we’ve chosen the area running from St Ann’s Square all the way to New Cathedral Street.

“St Ann’s Square became our base in the early years of the festival so now, in our 24th year, this will be something of a homecoming for us, albeit a much bigger home with much more to offer.

“We’ve also moved the festival to the late May Bank Holiday weekend to give Manchester’s student population the chance to enjoy the festival.

“What won’t change is our commitment to offering audiences a diverse, surprising and memorable mix of new music experiences and we hope you’ll continue to join us on that journey.”

Tickets for the following mjf 2019 events are now on sale at manchesterjazz.com:

Keith Tippett & Matthew Bourne + Isotach Trio

RNCM Theatre, May 23 2019

Two of the greatest British jazz pianists meet across the generational divide in an exciting new collaboration. Don’t miss this rare chance to see the duo perform together.


Noya Rao + Caoilfhionn Rose

Night and Day, May 23 2019

Leeds-based electronic soul quartet Noa Roya are purveyors of lush enigmatic dreamscapes and electronica. They draw on influences from jazz, hip hop and electronic music while incorporating the sounds of the bass-heavy dub music synonymous with the Leeds music scene.


Tim Garland’s Weather Walker

St Ann’s Church, 26 May 2018

Garland’s latest intimate project fuses chamber jazz, classical and folk. Weather Walker evokes the varied seasons and moods of the Lake District and traditional song from north west England.


Emilia Mårtensson’s Loredana

The Deaf Institute, 27 May 2019

Award-winning Swedish vocalist Emilia has built a well-deserved reputation as one of the most exciting young vocalists on the UK Jazz scene and is known for boundary pushing and her original music which crosses borders between Scandi folk, jazz and pop.

For more information on mjf 2019 head to manchesterjazz.com

To apply to run a food or drink concession at mjf 2019 email barbara@foodanddrinkfestival.com. The deadline for applications is Monday 7 January.

We are pleased to announce the first performance project of mjf 2019

NORTHERN is a new jazz project developed by Maja Bugge in collaboration with field recordist Hervé Perez and video artist Adam York Gregory.

During 2018 -19 the artists will undertake residencies in Lancaster, Barrow and Manchester exploring the sonic and visual identity of these places through field recording, video recording, composition and workshops with local schools and residents.

The final performance will be an improvised concert for cello, electronics and visuals reflecting how we see, hear and relate to our surroundings.

This co-production will develop across performances on behalf of Lancaster Arts, Full of Noises in Barrow and Manchester Jazz Festival.

Maja said: “I am very excited about this unique opportunity. The bursary from The Nuffield allows me to fully explore the interdisciplinary nature of my work as a musician and composer and gives me a great opportunity to invite audience groups of different background into the process of devising a new piece of work.”

Unique in its form, NORTHERN applies jazz improvisation techniques to film making and sound sampling. Maja’s piece will resonate with those who feel northern through and through, to nature lovers and to those prone to feelings of wanderlust.

Lancaster Arts producer Leo Burtin said: “Maja is a fantastic artist who is at once deeply rooted in her local community in Lancaster and a migrant whose work happens internationally. As the UK prepares to leave the EU, and as we consider place and identity across all of our projects, I could not think of a better idea than to explore being northern through the universal language of music.”

NORTHERN was performed at Full of Noises in August 2018, and will be performed at Manchester Jazz Festival and Lancaster Arts in 2019.

For more information on Maja head to www.majabugge.com

Manchester jazz festival has been awarded GMCA Culture and Social Impact fund portfolio status for the period 2018 – 2020 .

The GMCA Culture and Social Impact fund will allow us to build on mjf introduces, the strand of our work that champions emerging talent.

As mjf introduces celebrates its landmark 10th anniversary, we now have the opportunity to roll out these opportunities further across areas of Greater Manchester by working with talent partners such as colleges, youth jazz orchestras, recording studios, local venues, pubs and clubs across the region.

We hope this work will not only attract new audiences to jazz but also help support the genre’s stars of tomorrow.

mjf Executive Director EJ Trivett said: “We are delighted to be invited to join the GMCA portfolio. For many years, we have shared our work with audiences across Greater Manchester, but this fund will enable mjf to expand our reach by discovering diverse untapped talent, developing artists and spaces across the authority, supporting local music-makers into the pipeline and providing access to an international stage.”

mjf is the first UK jazz festival to be named a Keychange Associate, pledging a 50/50 gender balance in all our programming.

For 23 years, manchester jazz festival has championed and been firm advocates of women in music through the festival programme and our special projects. We are proud to say we have consistently offered female musicians a professional platform for their music to be heard.

In 2017, 50% of all bands that played the festival included women in their line-up, translating as 49 out of 98 gigs having a strong female presence. In 2018 we continued to strive for this level of equality to help the PRS Foundation Keychange initiative reach their target of having a 50/50 gender balance in the music industry by 2022.

mjf Artistic Director Steve Mead, said: “I’m so proud to say that mjf is a Keychange Associate and it’s humbling our ambitions and achievements towards creating a more gender-balanced jazz industry are being celebrated with this initiative. There is of course plenty more to do, but I hope that together we can continue to inspire others to effect change for good.” 

For more information about the PRS Foundation Keychange Initiative click here.