Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission awarded to Esther Swift

The 2018 Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission has been awarded to Esther Swift as mjf continue to champion women in music.

Recognised for celebrating contemporary jazz through adventurous programming, each year the Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission provides a talented regional artist with an exceptional opportunity to present new work.

This year’s commission has been awarded to harpist and composer, Esther Swift, with her composition Light Gatherer, an instrumentation of voice, harp quartet, string trio, piano, saxophone, trombone and percussion.

To mark the centenary of women being given the vote in this country, Esther celebrates the diversity embraced by manchester jazz festival by writing a new work which will showcase the harp in an unusual and unexplored contemporary jazz language. She will take words, exploring their meaning and their sound, and create a series of pieces which experiment with texture, purpose and expectation.

In 2017, mjf are proud to say that 50% of all bands that played included women in their line-up – a percentage unrivalled by any other UK jazz festival. 2018 also sees mjf become associate members of the PRS Foundation Keychange initiative, a pioneering European initiative which empowers women to transform the future of the music.

Now in its fifth year, mjf originals is again being sponsored by Irwin Mitchell.  The continuity of this support has enabled mjf to pioneer exciting, innovative new works by northern artists.

The manchester jazz festival programme, including full details about Light Gatherer, will be released in late April.