Me Gusta presents Habibi Funk

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Band on the Wall (main venue)

After a sell-out show at YES and an incredible Boiler room set at Warehouse Project’s Repercussion, we are super happy to present Habibi Funk at Band on the Wall as part of manchester jazz festival (mjf2023).

Come along with your loved ones and embark on a musical journey, guiding you through a multitude of genres such Arabic zouk (a genre originating from the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe) like Mallek Mohamed’s music, Algerian coladera (a popular musical style from the Cape Verdean islands) or Lebanese AOR.

Habibi Funk is dedicated to re-releasing a style of music that historically never existed as a musical genre. “We use the term to describe a certain sound that we like from the countries of the Arab world“. The songs chosen were created in places quite far from another and under very different circumstances. Some were written and recorded during war times, others in exile. Despite the differences, there is a musical connection between them. Essentially, they are interested in the musical endeavors, in which artists from the Arab world mixed local and regional influences with musical interests that came from outside of the region.

Date: friday 26 may

Time: 11:00 pm - 1:00 am

Price: £10 (first release tickets) / £15 (second release tickets)

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Ibibio Sound Machine

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Band on the Wall (main venue)

Tickets on sale Friday 3 March at 10am

Fronted by Nigerian singer Eno Williams, Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West-African funk and disco and modern post-punk and electro.

Ibibio Sound Machine were founded by Williams and Max Grunhard in 2013 with the idea of combining the unique sound of the Ibibio language that Eno spoke growing up in Nigeria with both traditional West African and more modern electronic musical elements. They linked up with Merge Records in 2017 for Uyai and returned with Doko Mien in 2019.

Western pop fans will hear echoes of Michael Jackson, James Brown, Gary Numan, Prince, Talking Heads and, yes, Miami Sound Machine; African music devotees will recognize threads of juju and Afrobeat from Nigeria, high life from Ghana and makossa from Cameroon.” —New York Times

a groove-driven melange of styles which also takes in gospel, funk, post- and electro-punk and contemporary R&B, alongside African polyrhythms, horns and guitar” —Guardian

No one is crushing different sound worlds together quite as compellingly as them right now.” —DJ Mag

photo credit Jody Hartley

Date: friday 26 may

Time: 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Price: £22

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Matt and Phreds

Laura Doyle vocals / Micky Dunne guitar/ Jesse Eigan – bass / Vidar Norheim drums, vibes

Born in Liverpool and blessed in Rio, Baiana is the band with the totally tropical twist, bringing the music, glamour and charm of vintage Brazilian jazz and pop to every show. The band has played sold-out shows in London’s jazzland and got national coverage after a series of sell-out gigs at the Edinburgh Festival. Baiana is all about the thrill of Brazil and will be playing classic Bossa Novas, seductive sambas and Latin-inspired arrangements of well-known standards. Sometimes reflective, always full of passion, this will be a night of infectious rhythm, superb musicianship, and beautiful song.

Laura Doyle, the front lady of Baiana, became an entertainer after studying clowning with the great Philippe Gaulier in Paris and developed her unique voice and style on the “underground cabaret” scene in London and elsewhere. She fell in love with Brazilian music while living in Rio where she rubbed shoulders with some of the world’s most famous people, including Fidel Castro and Sophia Loren. A born-entertainer, Laura’s colourful costumes and charismatic performances always have audiences shouting for more.

Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Vidar hails from Norway and was a member of alt-pop darlings Wave Machines who released two critically-lauded albums and played at Glastonbury and other major festivals. Guitarist Micky is one of the most respected “gypsy jazz” guitarists on the British jazz scene and has performed for many years with Django luminaires such as Gary Potter, Romane, John Jorgenson and violinist Daniel John Martin. Bassist Jesse is a much in-demand bass player and vocalist, at home in a intimate jazz club or playing a major festival. He has recorded and toured with artists such as Louis Berry, Marcus & Martinus, Ray Quinn, China Crisis and Ninet Tayeb to name but a few.

Doors 6pm
Gig 9.30pm – 12.30am
£7 entry, pay on the door – to reserve a table, call 0161 273 5495

Date: friday 26 may

Time: 9:30 pm - 12:30 am

Price: £7, pay on the door

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Stan Sulzmann & Nikki Iles

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St Ann's Church

Stan Sulzmann soprano & tenor saxophone / Nikki Iles piano

Enjoying a long-standing musical friendship and frequent collaborations, Stan and Nikki recorded their first duet album Treasure Trove in 1996. Since then, each has continued to establish international careers, devoted fans and critical admiration – indeed, they are both nothing short of British jazz legends.

Celebrating a shared love of songs, and with original compositions from each, their duet performances are rare nowadays. This acoustic concert will bring out the very best in their lyrical inventiveness, harmonic richness and beauty of tone, in resplendent surroundings that complement the nuances of their virtuosic playing.

Date: friday 26 may

Time: 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm

Price: £15

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The James Pearson Trio (Ronnie Scott’s) – 100 Years of Jazz Piano

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Forsyth Music Shop

James Pearson piano / Sam Burgess bass / Chris Higginbottom drums

In this whistle-stop tour, James Pearson is back by popular demand after last year’s sold-out gig to salute the greats of jazz piano on a superlative 230 Vienna Concert Grand Piano in Forsyth music shop’s historic piano showroom, which is both an unusual and intimate venue.  From early ragtime, Harlem stride to mainstream swing and bebop, secrets of the greats will be revealed as we look at the different playing styles of pianists like Oscar Peterson, George Shearing, Bill Evans, Bud Powell, Thelonius Monk, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller to name just a few. Even the famous ‘Count Basie ending’ will be explored!

In addition James will look at some of the aspects of their lives in relation to their work as a musician, and as ever, the musical examples will be interspersed with anecdotes in this fun celebration of 100 years of jazz piano.


James Pearson is a pianist, composer and creative tour de force. He is the Artistic Director at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club where his trio are the house band. There last album Swing the Club recorded live at the venue received excellent reviews across the board.

James is equally at home as a concert pianist. He has played concertos with the Philharmonia and the BBC Concert Orchestra amongst many others. His performance of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano Concerto was broadcast on Classic FM and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto and Rhapsody in Blue on BBC Radio 2. With collaborations ranging from Paul McCartney to Wynton Marsalis James is fast becoming one of the country’s most sought-after pianists.

Recent commissions by the BFI and BBC have seen James back in the composing chair. The Big Smoke, commissioned by the BFI is a collection of footage of London accompanied by an 80-minute score composed by James. His work can also be heard performed by Brodsky String Quartet, Sir John Dankworth, The BBC Concert Orchestra and The BBC Big Band.

Click here for information about Forsyth music shop and where to find it.

Date: friday 26 may

Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Price: £25 including a glass of wine/prosecco

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Robert Mitchell

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St Ann's Church

Robert Mitchell is an award-winning pianist, keyboard player, composer, songwriter, poet, and author. At manchester jazz festival, Robert Mitchell presents music in the spirit of his latest piano solo CD, The Rainbow Mountain/Can We Care (2020). This is his 10th album and his third, after The Equinox and The Glimpse, piano solo recording. While The Glimpse focused on Mitchell’s fascination with a number of great pianists who have defined left hand only composition, teaching and performance, alongside left hand cultural connotations, The Rainbow… explores these ideas furthered by his experiences and music making since, in a live, long, improvised set. He will perform original music, improvisation, left hand only music and some music by several legends. Robert will narrate some poetry from both his first collection – A Vigil For Justice, A Vigil For Peace and his upcoming second book – City Of Sanctuary (Common Tone Press).

photo credit Alexis Maryon

Date: friday 26 may

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Price: £10

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un.procedure / Themory (installation only)

International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Music & Sound Design by un.procedure: Piera Onacko keyboards / Cassie Kinoshi saxophone / Nathan England-Jones drums 

Guri Bosh visual art / Vlad-Cristian Costache build

Themory is an immersive audiovisual installation, drawing from the subjective and fluid forces of family and history, place and time. 

Incorporating spatialised sound and video collage, Themory tells a collective story through cutting and layering to create new compositions, heard and seen. Audiences will be propelled through a thematic narrative, bound together by a backdrop of past and present Manchester, inviting discussion as to how and why memories and history become a part of our lives.  

What will happen and when?

The installation will run on a 30-minute cycle, with the first 15 minutes of each cycle allowing you, the audience, time to arrive and acquaint yourselves with the space before the performance begins. The performances on Friday 26 May will be pre-recorded and on Saturday 27 May, there will be a live performance by un.procedure accompanying the installation, full details here:

Friday 26 May

12pm – 8pm – installation only, starting on the hour and half-hour.

Tickets: Free admission, no ticket required. Access is on a first-come-first-served basis and subject to capacity on the day. 

Saturday 27 May

12pm – 8pm – installation + live performance, starting on the hour (*the live performance will begin 15 minutes after the start of the first session of the hour e.g. 12.15pm, 1.15pm, 2.15pm etc).

Tickets: Free admission, no ticket required. Access is on a first-come-first-served basis and subject to capacity on the day.

Where is it happening?

It’s taking place at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, click here for a map and more information.

This work is supported through the Cheltenham Festival Jerwood Jazz Encounters programme, co-commissioned by Manchester Jazz Festival and supported by Jerwood Arts and Sound UK. 

Date: friday 26 may

Time: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Price: Free