Click the link here to apply! Deadline 30th October, 10 am.

mjf was the first festival to pioneer an open artists’ submission system and, with over 30% of our programming coming from these submissions each year, it still very much informs our work today. As a  contemporary jazz festival, we champion and prioritise:

Artists who sent us music via Artists’ Submissions and who were then featured in mjf 2023 inlcude:

The hunt for Manchester’s best street pianist is over as we have announced our winner of the mjf 2023 piano trail!

Delivered in partnership with both Yamaha and Forsyth the trail saw 13 pianos dotted around the city over the month of May to be enjoyed by the community. And we are delighted to introduce you to…


Originally from Pennsylvania, but making her home in Manchester, transatlantic folk singer Zoe Mulford took to the streets of Manchester to fill the town with her original work entitled “Purple Piano“. Before sharing a tender moment with another Manchester resident asking to play Hoagy Carmichael’s classic ‘Heart and Soul’, to which Zoe gladly obliged, encapsulating the community spirit at the heart of the trail. On receiving first prize of a Yamaha Digital Piano, generously donated to the competition from the company, Zoe remarked,

I only found out about the mjf piano trail during the last week of the festival. I dropped everything and went to scout out pianos, thinking I might get photos or video I could use to promote the EP. As I wandered from piano to piano, I realised that if I abridged “Purple Piano” a little, it would run just under 2 minutes – so I shot the video to submit to the contest.” And she went on to note that, “Purple Piano was inspired by a public piano that I encountered in Oxford Road station some years ago (part of an earlier piano trail?) It was actually on Platform 4 and I don’t remember what color it was – but sometimes the sound of the words takes precedence over facts.” 

James Sargeant from Yamaha said,

“We knew that the trail was going to unveil new talent from across the city, and of course we were not disappointed! Zoe’s wonderfully energetic, fun and luminous performance of her own song ‘Purple Piano’ captures the great spirit of the trail. What a great composition and performance from Zoe, congratulations.”  

Listen to the full entry here

And we are also delighted to share the 8 other talented winners of the trail including the inspiring, 12-year-old blind pianist, Chapman Shum   

Listen to their entries here 

Steve Mead, manchester jazz festival’s Artistic Director, said:

It was inspiring to see so many people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities – responding to our city-wide invitation to bring spontaneous music-making to public spaces across Manchester. Congratulations to Zoe for winning over the judges with her spirited and moving performance!  

Click here to discover the full lineup associated with the trail this year.