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Thanda’s Big Sing

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International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Join award winning vocalist Thanda Gumede and learn two songs of traditional Zulu music blended with African Gospel and then perform with Thanda’s band at the opening weekend of this year’s manchester jazz festival at First Street in central Manchester.

Thanda Gumede is an award-winning vocalist from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa who is now based in the UK. Specialising in an eclectic blend of singing styles informed by his dual Zulu/Xhosa heritage and Western music, he has performed at the BBC Proms, for the late bishop Desmond Tutu and Queen Elizabeth II. Teaching songs in Zulu and Xhosa, Thanda will include warm up exercises, joyous South African harmonies and the signature click sounds of the southern Bantu languages.

Workshop: Saturday 18 May, 10am – 1pm (with a 30-minute break)

Workshop VenueBurgess Foundation, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY (move this here so it’s underneath the info about the workshop)

Performance: Saturday 18 May, 2.15pm

Performance Venue: at mjf’s opening weekender at First Street, M15 4RB on the ‘Ask Garden Stage’ (2 mins from Burgess Foundation).

Please note the minimum age for participants is 8 years old. Under 18-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult. Participation is free but booking is required. 

The family friendly activities will take place across our free opening weekender (17-19th May) at First Street and have been kindly supported by Ask Real Estate. 

Date: saturday 18 may

Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Time: 2:15 pm

Price: Free admission, by ticket only

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Thanda Gumede & Friends

mjf @ First Street (ask Garden Stage)

Thanda Gumede voice / Simeon Walker piano + guests

Thandanani Gumede is known as Thanda (pronounced “Tanda” like Panda), for short—a Zulu name that means Love One Another. He is an award-winning vocalist and a multi-disciplinary artist of dual Zulu and Xhosa heritage, hailing from Durban, in South Africa.  

He made his U.K. debut performance at the inaugural Nelson Mandela Day, sanctioned by the United Nations, in London. Thereafter, his base became the North of England. Musically, Thanda draws inspiration from his compounded heritage, amalgamated with jazz, neo-soul, gospel and other contemporary styles, beautifully punctuated by the signature click sounds of the southern Bantu languages.  

His accolades and notable appearances include an exclusive performance for HM former Queen Elizabeth II and 43 members of the British Royal Family at Buckingham Palace (Royal Enclosure); a surprise Warner Classics-commissioned performance for the late Emeritus, Bishop Desmond Tutu, alongside the prodigious cellists Abel Selaocoe & YoYo Ma; BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and appearances on SKY 1, BBC radio & BBC TV, SABC 1, ITV , London Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival and the Theatre Royal in London, West End.  

Thanda is an Opera North pilot Resonance alumnus a Jazz North Northern Line alumnus; mjf hothouse and mjf Level Up alumnus, with a multi-faceted scope of work, ranging from vocal tuition to Embodied Auto-Ethnography with the University of Leeds.  

A vastly experienced African music workshop leader & versatile performer, Thanda makes a welcome return to live performance at mjf after a recent hiatus. 

The Ask Garden Stage is proudly sponsored by Ask Real Estate.

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

Meet you in the Morning by Ubunye, featuring Thanda Gumede

 

Date: saturday 18 may

Time: 2:15 pm - 3:10 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Atatu Trio

mjf @ First Street (ask Garden Stage)

William R. Davidson keyboards / Fraser Hinchliffe bass / Adrian Lawrence drums, words 

Atatu Trio were formed in 2022 after a chance encounter at We Out Here Festival. They later met up and jammed together and were surprised by the results: a fusion of Latin, jazz, Brazilian, spoken word and funk.  

A recent graduate from mjf’s hothouse programme, Will began in classical music under the stewardship of Peter Young, before embarking on a jazz degree at the University of Hull, where he also held a 3-year residency at Princess Ave in Hull with his jazz quintet The Dalis Collective Each member has brought a wealth of performing experience to the trio, including tours with Kevin Davy, Nidi d’Arac and DJ residencies at The Wardrobe in Leeds, alongside Roy Ayers, Azymuth, Marlina Shaw & Antibalas.  

The word ‘Atatu’ is derived from Will’s native language ‘Chichewa’ and translates to the number ‘Three’: a fitting name for a trio whose diverse backgrounds have shaped their special sound. 

The Ask Garden Stage is proudly sponsored by Ask Real Estate.

 

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

Date: saturday 18 may

Time: 4:30 pm - 5:25 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Hoda Jahanpour & Pedraum Agahi

mjf @ First Street (ask Garden Stage)

Hoda Jahanpour cello, guitar / Pedraum Agahi electric guitar, santour, tombak, with special guest Emilio Yanez Ruiz percussion

Two cousins reunite in a duo performance, paying homage to their ancestry of traditional Persian music and their western influences of European classical music and jazz, joined for a selection of pieces by Manchester-based percussionist Emilio Yanez Ruiz, originally from Mexico City. Hoda Jahanpour blends her cello’s expressive capabilities of resonance and depth of sound with the delicate texture of the santour (Persian hammered dulcimer), played by jazz guitarist Pedraum Agahi. The ensemble also intertwines guitar, vocals and tombak to perform their set of traditional Persian songs, arrangements of Arabic and Turkish melodies and new collaborative compositions.

Hoda is an mjf hothouse alumnus, cellist, songwriter and composer interested in musical experiences that generate energy and bring people together. Coming from a background in classical music, she has performed side-by-side with notable orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic, Hallé and Manchester Camerata. Hoda loves to explore how the cello can be used to express various musical languages.

Last November, she was invited to Denmark to create and perform new music with four fellow musicians – a collaboration that you can also hear at mjf on 23 May. Other career highlights to date include participating in a collaborative music making residency led by saxophonist and composer Nubya Garcia and developing a new music theatre piece as part of Oedipa Company at the Barbican Pit.

Pedraum is a Leeds Conservatoire jazz guitar graduate, whose love of R&B has led him to write and arrange original music with singer Tiger Edison, which they have performed at Cheltenham and Leeds Jazz Festivals and the University of Leeds’ Fashion show. He also plays in the Viridian Trio, again inspired by contemporary jazz and Persian traditional music and touring across the north.

The Ask Garden Stage is proudly sponsored by Ask Real Estate.

 

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

 

Date: saturday 18 may

Time: 6:45 pm - 7:40 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

m.oe

mjf @ First Street (ask Garden Stage)

m.oe keyboards, loopers, sample pads 

“Music to make the body move and the mind wander.” 

An alumnus from the mjf Soundcheck programme, keyboardist M.oe creates piano-centred, jazz-inspired harmonies, supported by gritty, glitchy beats with complex grooves and driving rhythms. 

He likens the sound to an 808 synthesiser that suddenly became sentient, forcing its way out of the drum machine and into the real world whilst the soundtrack of its life plays in the background. M.oe’s tracks are thematically open and ambient, and in a live context he adds improvisation on resonant bass synths played 4 octaves too high… 

M.oe’s aspirations are to express what can’t be verbalised, and to invite people to connect with that through movement and thought, exploring the increasingly blurred lines of the human experience. 

The Ask Garden Stage is proudly sponsored by Ask Real Estate.

 

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

 

Date: sunday 19 may

Time: 1:45 pm - 2:30 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

AJB3

mjf @ First Street (ask Garden Stage)

Ajay Bebop voice / Wisdom Udensi electric piano / Gabe Weber drums  

 Ajay and Wisdom are recent graduates from mjf’s Soundcheck programme.   

Jazz trio AJB3 make music for your mind, body and soul! Singing bebop for the 2020s, swing with them and find out exactly what that entails… if you need a hint, there’ll be a lot of notes – but only their best notes! There may even be some words to the notes you already know and love. But it’s for you, whether you like to think about music, feel music in your soul, or just get up and move to it. 

The Ask Garden Stage is proudly sponsored by Ask Real Estate.

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

Date: sunday 19 may

Time: 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Floorkin

mjf @ First Street (ask Garden Stage)

Robin Forkin keyboards, turntable / Emyr Penry Dance trumpet / Samantha Brown violin / Rhianna Wade cello / Hayden Wood double bass / Dom Kilsby drums, percussion  

Led by mjf hothouse alumnus artist Robin, Floorkin are a trio whose music falls outside the sphere of genre & categories. Their performance will bring eclectic electro-acoustic improvisation, using an array of electronics and instruments. Expect to hear turntablism stretching and expanding old recordings into scattered fragments, alongside sporadic inflections of drums, percussion and distant horns weaving across one another. 

Alongside this spectral and cosmic cacophony, they will be accompanied by a scored string trio, taking inspiration from projects by Actress x London Contemporary Orchestra and Floating Points & The London Symphony Orchestra. 

The Ask Garden Stage is proudly sponsored by Ask Real Estate.

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

Date: sunday 19 may

Time: 4:45 pm - 5:30 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Beck Pocket

mjf @ First Street (ask Garden Stage)

Viv Griffin bass, voice / Samantha Baxter guitar / Jasper Clarke keyboards / Louis Reilly drums 

Beck Pocket melds left-field pop with electronic dance, sprinkling influences from disco and glitch to jazz and breakbeat. Former mjf soundcheck artist Viv Griffin and Jasper Clarke formed the project whilst studying music in Manchester. Both sharing writing and producing duties and seeing electronica through a live musician’s lens, the duo layer lush synths over relentlessly groovy bass, whilst discussing change, growing up and nostalgia.

Since releasing their first single in July 2022, the duo has played multiple venues across Manchester such as Band on the Wall, Aviva Studios and 33 Oldham Street. Beck Pocket’s set at mjf2024 will see them at their most experimental, combining instrumental and electronic improvisation, whilst sprinkling in their new music set to be released in the first half of this year.

The Ask Garden Stage is proudly sponsored by Ask Real Estate.

 

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

Date: friday 17 may

Time: 6:00 pm - 6:45 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

BITEZ

mjf @ First Street (ask Garden Stage)

Princess Arinola Adegbite voice / James Holt keyboards / Khalid Mwambakale DJ 

Multi-award-winning poet and musician and mjf Soundcheck artist 2022, BITEZ uses music as a form of expression and activism.  Awarded MCR Young Creative of the Year (Culture Awards) and praised as an “inventive polymath” – Marco Sebastiano Alessi -, her music is heavily influenced by jazz, nu jazz, neo-soul and electronica. BITEZ’ songs explore the interior world, the human need for love and validation, technology’s influence on the collective, and her lived experiences as a woman navigating the world with chronic illness, making music to help people feel less alienated and more celebrated.

Her debut project, Eat My Heart, funded by MOBO Help Musicians Fund, is a jazz and soul-inspired mix of organic instruments with electronica sounds. The tracks explore love and the need to perform for love as an artist. The debut track, Performative Love, explores interactions of false love. Her music has garnered support from Factory International (MIF), Youth Music, Help Musicians, and the MOBO Awards. She’s also received radio plays from BBC Radio Manchester, Pie Radio, Reform Radio, and Amazing Radio.

The Ask Garden Stage is proudly sponsored by Ask Real Estate.

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

 

Date: friday 17 may

Time: 7:30 pm - 8:15 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required