For those of you that are new to mjf and our talent development programmes we have three stands and are looking for artists at all stages of their careers and musical journey to apply.


mjf soundcheck is for musicians who want space to try out new things and be supported to grow creatively. The process is simple – you apply with a musical idea that you want to develop and we help you to do that, through 1-1 meetings, pairing you with a brilliant artist mentor, introducing you to inspiring industry professionals, providing you with a tailored recommended playlist and encouraging you to meet other musicians.

Over eight weeks, you’ll identify and transform your musical insecurities, unleash your hidden ambitions and hone your creative style. By the end of the programme you’ll showcase a short new piece of music that reflects your learning – and it might even surprise you!

Apply here for soundcheck 2023


mjf hothouse is a sixth-month programme for musicians to learn, experiment and create new work. It is unlike any other artist development programme. It’s not a predetermined or one-size-fits-all approach, and each round is designed around the selected artists. Throughout hothouse, we help you unearth undiscovered potential, to grow as a musician, and support you to make your best music yet. We look at the conditions you are working in, and the bigger picture – aiming always to improve your prospects and encouraging you to dream bigger.

Apply here for hothouse 2023-2024


Each year manchester jazz festival commissions contemporary, boundary-pushing new work with northern artists through our mjf originals scheme. Our values for the scheme are important to us and we strive for the new works we support to be artist-led, high-quality, ground-breaking, northern-focussed, and championing artists from all backgrounds. We’re especially interested in work by or for artists from diverse backgrounds, unusual collaborations, music for a specific time or place, work fusing other artforms and new ideas that push the boundaries of jazz.

Apply here for mjf originals 2024

Not sure which programme is right for you? Take a look at our f&q’s page here.

The reviews are in! mjf was 2023 was an outstanding success!

It ran from the 19 – 28 may 2022 at venues and sites across Manchester, including a free opening weekend at First Street, weekday gigs at St Ann’s Church, nightly gigs at Matt & Phreds, events at Forsyth Music , Blues Kitchen and at The Yard with partners NQ Jazz, but we wrapped it all up with a closing weekend fiesta at Band on the Wall.

  • Check out some of the teams personal highlights here!
  • And check out our gallery, captured by some of the incredibly talented and generous volunteers we had working with us this year.
  • Already missing the festival? So are we! Don’t worry, we will be back to jazz up your summer next year. Sign up to our newsletter in order to be the first to hear all news relating to mjf2024.

Put mjf24 in your diaries: 17-26 May 2024