Each year manchester jazz festival commissions contemporary, boundary-pushing new work with northern artists through our mjf originals scheme.

Our values for the scheme are important to us and we strive for the new works we support to be artist-led, high-quality, ground-breaking, northern-focussed, and championing artists from all backgrounds.

We’re especially interested in work by or for artists from diverse backgrounds, unusual collaborations, music for a specific time or place, work fusing other artforms and new ideas that push the boundaries of jazz.

We are committed to providing opportunities for new live work to be presented in the physical space in front of a live audience, either during the festival itself or during the year. We encourage artists to be creative in embracing all the current and ongoing challenges that creating new work brings, and we also welcome ideas that embrace new technologies, either in the creative process or the resulting delivery.

We commission mjf originals composers to take on a mentoring role with one of our hothouse alumni to share expertise and best practice with our next generation of artists, and to share insights into the creative process in a masterclass to our hothouse cohort.

To help develop audiences for the premieres of each mjf originals piece, we’re introducing a new aspect to each mjf originals commission. We’ll ask you how you plan to involve the public, or specific communities of Greater Manchester, in your creative process. This can be openly interpreted by applicants; we want to grow awareness of each new work that gets created, to bring more people into the process of creating new work, enthuse them and show audiences how new music is relevant to them.

mjf originals was the first open jazz commission in the UK. The beauty of it has always been that it’s artist-led: your ideas are what still make it so special and we want to keep it this way, even though the cultural landscape now provides for many more new commission opportunities than were available when we launched the scheme.

Applications for mjf originals closed on 24 august 2022. Don’t worry – they will reopen in 2023!