mjf @ First Street: Ni Maxine, Charlotte Keeffe’s Quartet, Nick Walters, Ferg’s Imaginary Big Band and more…

mjf @ First Street (Main Stage)

First Street, Main Stage

1.15pm – 2.05pm / Ni Maxine
3.15pm – 4.25pm / Charlotte Keeffe’s Right Here Right Now Quartet
5.30pm – 6.40pm / Nick Walters
7.45pm – 9pm / Ferg’s Imaginary Big Band
9pm – 10pm / DJ

Tickets: FREE entry to all events

Where is First Street? Click here to see…


Ni Maxine

Ni Maxine vocals / David Kayode saxophone / Jack Lewis guitar / Max O’Hara keyboard / Jesse Eigen bass / Jamal Campbell drums 

Hailed a ‘Black Woman at The Forefront of the UK Jazz Scene’ alongside Cherise & KOKOROKO’s Sheila Maurice-Grey, Ni Maxine is a Neo-Jazz Singer-Songwriter; a Black British woman sparking intergenerational conversations for change, exploring themes of home, identity, self-esteem & belonging.

Charlotte Keeffe’s Right Here Right Now Quartet

Charlotte Keeffe composer, trumpet, flugelhorn / Moss Freed guitar with pedal board / Ashley John Long double bass / Ben Handysides drums

Come on Manchester, are you ready for Right Here, Right Now?! With her Right Here, Right Now Quartet, British composer and improvising musician, Charlotte Keeffe, passionately embraces the moment with her audiences, she enables raw musical ingredients and individual expressions to magically come together and flow… Keeffe wears her serious love for free improvisation, jazz and experimental music on her sleeve. She is captivated by trumpeters like Jaimie Branch, Tomasz Stańko and Lester Bowie, she is also inspired by painters, and refers to her trumpet and flugelhorn as her ‘sound brushes’. Charlotte Keeffe’s music is one big joyful wish for creative freedom for ALL! 

Nick Walters

Nick Walters trumpet / Ed Cawthorne flute and soprano / Rebecca Nash piano / Nim Sadot bass / Laurie Lowe drums / Kujovi Kush percussion

Trumpeter, composer and band leader Nick Walters is arguably one of the most sought after and respected musicians on the UK Jazz scene. Known for his work with the bands Ruby Rushton, Riot Jazz Brass Band and Beats & Pieces Big Band, he also leads the Paradox Ensemble, a diverse collection of some of his closest musical collaborators, premiered 10 years ago at mjf 2013. His music often combines modal, spiritual and eastern jazz moods with West African rhythms, channelling the spirit of Woody Shaw, Miles Davis and absent friends. Following the successful Awakening and Active Imagination releases on 22a, 2021 saw the first release on his newly formed label D.O.T. Records – the new Paradox Ensemble album Implicate Order. The album was met with mass acclaim and was followed up in early 2022 with a new studio produced album from Walters, Singularity, which received rave reviews and support from Mary Ann Hobbs on BBC 6Music.  

His various live projects have gained high praise and support from some of the key tastemakers, DJ’s, radio stations, magazines and newspapers in the world, including: Gilles Peterson, Tom Ravenscroft, Jamz Supernova, Huey Morgan, Mary Ann Hobbs, NTS, Jazz FM, Mojo Magazine, Jazzwise, Record Collector and many more. 2023 sees a new release by the sextet that he brings here to mjf.  

Walters is majestic, leading a hugely enjoyable cosmic journey of exciting, melodic and spiritually uplifting contemporary jazz” – UK VIBE 

Ferg’s Imaginary Big Band

Fergus Quill conductor, trumpet, viola / Amy Clark vocals / Saul Duff, Flo Taylor alto saxophones / Hannah Mae Birtwell, Harry Fowler, Will Gibbon tenor saxophones / Bess Shooter baritone saxophone / Alex Fisher bass saxophone / Fee Buckton, Felix Burling, Olivia Cuttill, Sam Ehret’ Pickett trumpets & flugelhorns / Adam Chard, Anya Sharma James, Pete New trombones / Oli Smedley bass trombone / Will Lakin guitar / Chris Williams double bass / Woody Hayden electric bass / Nico Widdowson, George MacDonald piano, keyboards / Josh Ketch, Theo Goss drums / Jon Lodder percussion / Hamish ‘Sonic’ Dixon noise   

Ferg’s Imaginary Big Band are a 24+ piece jazz x noise machine who are part of the burgeoning left-field independent Leeds music scene spearheaded by the Tight Lines record label. Initially inspired by the cosmic jazz legend and musician/band leader Sun Ra, Ferg’s Imaginary Big Band is a semi-fictional large ensemble whose primary aim is to bring big band music kicking and screaming into the 22nd century. The IBB play rowdy and always huge sounding arrangements of an incredibly diverse selection of tunes from composers including Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, The Rajasthan Express, Count Basie, the Art Ensemble Of Chicago alongside a number of original compositions written and arranged by Fergus and other members of the group. 


Date: saturday 20 may

Time: 12:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Price: Free

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