Bianca Gannon Ensemble

Band on the Wall (bar stage)

Bianca Gannon piano, percussion / Meilana Gillard saxophone / Neil Ó Loclainn double bass / Andrew McCoubrey drums

mjf2024’s second artist commissioned by the BAN BAM scheme in Dublin.  

Bianca Gannon is an Irish interdisciplinary art music composer and improviser. Her spontaneous compositions are an authentic, unfiltered expression in real time. Improvised solo and simultaneously on piano and percussion, ethereal pulsating difference-tones emerge from a bespoke ensemble of metallophones and singing bowls. Otherworldly tunings create resonant waves of sound. Gongs punctuate pianistic grooves. Hockets, syncopations, extended techniques, and crunchy harmonies interject, disrupt and intensify. A cycle that informs Bianca Gannon’s music is the fact that gamelan music inspired early C20th French composition, which in turn inspired jazz, which inspired gamelan. In bringing together and revealing parallels between seemingly disparate elements, Bianca is inspired by that which connects us. 

A Contemporary Music Centre represented composer, Bianca has been awarded the King House Piano Commission, BAN BAM Award, Arts Co. Music Bursary Award, Pythia Prize and Percy Grainger Award. She is an Improvised Music Company 30/30 Artist (one of Ireland’s outstanding improvisers) and was Artist in Residence with the City of Greater Dandenong. Bianca’s work has been presented internationally by leading ensembles including Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, loadbang, Ensemble Offspring, and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). She has toured her solo improv act across Australia, Europe and North America. Her debut improv album ‘with // without’ garnered a four-star review in the Sydney Morning Herald, and was selected by Rhythms Magazine as Best Instrumental Album 2020. A recipient of the Indonesian Arts and Culture Scholarship, Bianca has been engaged in a mutual exchange with Indonesia for over a decade. She has lived, worked and played across the archipelago, conducting DIY field research with custodians of endangered food-centric instruments and creating immersive multidisciplinary concert experiences. 

BAN BAM is a biennial commission and development opportunity for female and gender-minority artists from across Ireland from Improvised Music Company (IMC) Dublin and Moving On Music (MoM) Belfast. 

Date: saturday 25 may

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Black Hudu DJ Set

Band on the Wall (bar stage)

Black Hudu is an underground collective of artists, DJs and producers made up of Mighty Funk’Houser, Anouj, Soulful Grooves, and Benaiah Matheson. The word Hudu is derived from hoodoo (with a Huddersfield twist.) Hoodoo is the name of a language and a Ewe tribe in Togo and Ghana. Hoodoo is also an African religion born from Black resilience that cultivates reverence for one’s ancestors, holistic health, and oneness with self. 

The positive intention to create unity and wellbeing is at the heart of everything Black Hudu does. This is achieved in the ritual of the Session – where potent musical frequencies take the listener on a journey to banish bad energy, free the inner self, and become one with the vibrations. These vibrations include a mixture of sounds picked from the African diaspora such as Roots & Culture, Dub, Hip Hop, Neo Soul, Underground House & Garage, Bruk, Jazz, Funk and Soul.

Black Hudu have expanded from their hometown of Huddersfield playing overseas dates in Europe, as well as creating guest mixes for Rinse FM and Selector Radio. They have blessed crowds alongside the likes of, Omar, Afronaut & Mark Force (Bugz in the Attic), Frankie Feliciano, Jeremy Sylvester, Aluku Rebels, Ben Hauke, Chino-Vv, Down Town Calling, DJ Q, Henry Wu and more. 

Ever since their first dance in 2015 there’s been no looking back. With the mighty Ras Amharic sound system, Black Hudu continue to deliver their metamorphic vibrations to every molecule of your being. Stay tuned to the champion sounds of Black Hudu as they take the nation by storm. This crew are going to be popping up and popping off all over the UK… ready yourself!!!

Date: saturday 25 may

Time: 10:00 pm - 12:00 am

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Adam Ben Ezra

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Band on the Wall

Adam Ben Ezra double bass

For the past decade, double-bass phenomenon and multi-instrumentalist Adam Ben Ezra has been redefining and breathing new life into the double-bass and inspiring many with his flawless musicianship and his striking songwriting, carving out a unique spot for himself in today’s international musical landscape. 

With well over twenty million views to date on his videos and a strong following on all social media platforms, Adam is a Bonafide internet star. His success is certainly not confined to the web, with hundreds of shows under his belt across Europe, the United States and beyond. Having shared bills with Snarky Puppy, Pat Metheny, Victor Wooten and Richard Bona, Adam is no stranger to big venues and festivals and is truly at home on stage. His work has been shown at industry leading publications, such as the BBC, CBS News, Time Magazine and The British Telegraph to name but a few. Jazz FM has defined his appearance as ”A dazzling virtuosity and breath-taking athletic performance”. 

The term “multi-instrumentalist” is often overused but in this case, it couldn’t be more fitting; Adam began playing the violin at age five and picked up the guitar at age nine. Over the years he has added the piano, clarinet, oud, flute and even beatbox to his arsenal, largely teaching himself each time. However, it was an introduction to the double-bass at age 16 that truly changed his life, when he instantly fell in love with the instrument’s rich sound. Drawing inspiration from heroes as diverse as Bach, Sting, Bobby McFerrin and Chick Corea, Adam made a clear decision to make his compositions current – no matter the tool used. He has consciously added new colours to his palette, incorporating elements of jazz, funk, Latin and Mediterranean music into his playing. 

Adam’s live performances have naturally evolved over the years as he not only continues to introduce new elements and instrumentation but has also begun incorporating more electronic elements into his show. This has allowed him the freedom to be more communicative with the audience, create fresh cuts and be even more spontaneous in his playing. By using a smart combination of effects and pedals, Adam regularly loops his notes in order to deliver an authentic wall of sound, worthy of a small orchestra. 

In 2020 Adam released his album Hide and Seek. After two months of pre-production and an intensive one month recording period (in which Adam played virtually every instrument), Hide and Seek was born. The album incorporates jazz, funk, R&B, electronic and Middle Eastern influences together with Adam’s instantly recognizable signature musical language, creating something that is essential listening to both casual listeners and hardcore music enthusiasts alike. 

In 2023 Adam released his 5th album, delivering a diverse and rich sound, incorporating a blend of genres, rhythms and grooves, pushing the bass to the limit as never seen or heard before. 

In 2024 Adam will be releasing his 5th album, delivering a diverse and rich sound, incorporating a blend of genres, rhythms and grooves, pushing the double bass to the limit as never seen or heard before.

Photo credit: Diego Garcia

For more information about venue access please visit: https://bandonthewall.org/visit/access

Date: saturday 25 may

Time: 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Price: £15 Advance

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Band on the Wall (bar stage)

Climène Zarkan vocals, keyboard / Robinson Khoury trombone / Baptiste Ferrandis guitar / Timothé Robert bass / Paul Berne drums 

Making their UK debut at mjf, Sarāb creates a commanding mix of Arabic music, jazz and rock, and is one of the most mesmerising bands to come out of the vibrant Paris music scene in recent years.  

Born from the meeting between the Franco-Syrian singer Climène Zarkan and guitarist Baptiste Ferrandis, Sarāb – meaning mirage in Arabic – plays with borders and genres, navigating through Eastern and European tones, fusing the energetic rhythms and harmonies of both cultures into an ingenious yet authentic melting pot.  

Sarāb’s virtuosic, interweaving vocal and trombone frontline melodies are offset by the band’s rhythmic and harmonic intricacies – yet the results make for a highly emotive and rewarding experience, in what will undoubtedly be a highlight of this year’s festival programme.  

Sarāb are touring the UK supported by EJN Green Pilot Tours – an initiative by Europe Jazz Network members – including mjf – to reduce the carbon footprint of international touring. The artists have arrived from France and Germany by train or other means of green transport. We encourage you to do the same for your (hopefully shorter) journey to Band on the Wall this evening… 

Date: saturday 25 may

Time: 6:00 pm - 7:20 pm

Price: £6 Full Price

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John Surman: Words Unspoken

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RNCM Theatre

John Surman bass clarinet / Rob Luft guitar / Rob Waring vibraphone / Thomas Strønen drums / Stuart Mørch Kerrison sound design & electronica 

British composer, saxophonist and clarinettist John Surman will be 80 in 2024, and in the lead up to this milestone, will continue his musical adventures with a new band and CD called Words Unspoken.

Words Unspoken is a development of his 2018 ECM release Invisible Threads (described in The Times as ‘…elegant chamber jazz…’) and sees Surman working in collaboration with British rising star, guitarist Rob Luft, Oslo-based American vibraphonist Rob Waring and celebrated Norwegian drummer Thomas Strønen.

Words Unspoken was recorded at Rainbow Studios in Oslo in December 2022, and will be released on prestigious European label ECM in February 2024. Live, it premiered at Oslo Jazz Festival in 2023.

For lauded British saxophonist and composer John Surman, every project is part of an ongoing adventure.  The journey from his imagination to the page, into the recording studio, and finally onto the stage, is a quest for the ‘unspoken words’ in the music.  John Surman’s newest project continues the conversations that started with the music for his trio Invisible Threads – and this time, he has added elements of percussion and some electronics to the mix.

ECM will release Words Unspoken on 16 February 2024, to mark Surman’s 80th birthday celebrations this August.

Photo credit: Erik Fuglseth

Produced in partnership with the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM)

Venue Access and Accessible Seating

If you have accessible seating requirements, need to bring an Essential Companion to assist you, or require accessible parking for blue badge holders, please book via the RNCM’s ticketing partner Quaytickets by emailing rncm@quaytickets.com or phoning 0300 303 4212. 

Please note customers are not able to book accessible seating via manchester jazz festival on Eventbrite. For more info about your visit, click here: https://www.rncm.ac.uk/visit-us/access

Date: saturday 25 may

Time: 8:00 pm - 9:15 pm

Price: £22.00

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Laura Misch

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Band on the Wall

London-based multi-disciplinary artist, songwriter, vocalist, saxophonist Laura Misch makes her mjf debut.

Over the last few years, Laura’s music practice has developed alongside her growing curiosity to reconnect with her surroundings outside, discover with new collaborators, as well as leave the confines of self-recording.

In 2021, Laura began outdoor composing experiments, including working with engineer Andrea Adriano to build a wearable rig, with a preamp, looper, and modular FX, into a belt. “I primarily have a loop-based saxophone practice. I like to play licks, with harmonies gradually building whilst I’m walking.”

She composed an immersive outdoor installation in collaboration with the artist Matthew Rosier and NYX, a collective of female, trans and non-binary singers who manipulate their voices through electronics. Together, they recorded improvised saxophone and voice in Epping Forest, eventually soundtracking large-scale tree projections, mapped onto city buildings in central London.

Following the project she joined NYX: “Being part of this choir gave me permission to push boundaries in my own work. I’ve never felt so deeply part of a musical community before and that has been simultaneously supportive and freeing.” These explorations and new connections led her to embrace sound outside of music: ASMR, sensory, textural sound and everyday sound. These textures are layered across Sample The Sky with warmth, enveloping themselves around the listener as they grow, shift and intertwine.

Laura has performed at venues and festivals such as Royal Albert Hall, Roundhouse, Berghain, Rockwood Music Hall, All Points East, Eurosonic, SXSW and We Out Here. She has been consistently supported by BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music and Worldwide FM and featured in publications like Wonderland Magazine, Clash Magazine, Varsity, NME, The Quietus, Red Bull Music and The Guardian.

Misch has created a new dialect within the jazz language, one that speaks to the genre’s undying spirit of reinvention.” – thejazzword.com

For more information about venue access, please visit: https://bandonthewall.org/visit/access

Date: saturday 25 may

Time: 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Price: £15 Advance

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