We’re proud to introduce the mjf Soundcheck Artists of 2023!

We will spend the next 8 weeks working with 9 of the brightest Greater Manchester-based artists aged between 18-25  on what will be the fourth round of our talent development programme. With support from mjf, artist mentors from our hothouse programme and experienced industry guests, our 8 selected artists will be encouraged to make new music with improvisation, to take risks, and discover their musical identity.

Find out more about the artists, their passions and the aspirations they have for transforming their music, by hovering over their image below.

Basil Viju
Basil is an aspiring pianist with a love of improvisation and a drive to learn jazz. He aims to further explore the influence of western classical jazz in his work. He is also looking forward to talking all things music with like minded people.
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Gráinne Flynn
Gráinne, a singer-songwriter, from Manchester has established her hypnotic sound by taking influence from Irish Folk, Jazz and Electronic music; each of which have roots in heritage. Gráinne was one of the emerging talents in Manchester to be selected to partake in Contact’s esteemed Level Up Music Programme which concluded in the production of her forthcoming EP. Gráinne is excited to develop her musical practice through mjf.
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Wisdom Udensi
Wisdom is a trombonist and pianist from Manchester. His music is influenced by the genres of hip hop, gospel and RnB. He is excited to try a new style of music and play with all types of musicians throughout his time on Soundcheck.
Finley Groom
Finley is a self-taught guitarist and new to songwriting. He is excited to begin to cultivate his compositional style, drawing inspiration from genres such as post-punk, folk and ambience. Throughout soundcheck he hopes to create a piece that accommodates these genres. Although new to Manchester, he is simultaneously very excited to collaborate with new musicians and jam! Finely recently moved from the Wirral to study astrophysics.
Emma Robinson
Emma is a 22-year-old violinist who moved to Manchester three years ago to study at the Royal Northern College of Music. Although classically trained, she loves branching out into genres from all over the world, especially Scandinavian and American folk music. She's interested in bringing the violin into non-classical spaces and collaborating with a range of musicians. Through the Soundcheck project, she'd like to incorporate some jazz into her music and develop her ability to improvise around different styles.
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Rhianna Wade
Cellist, Rhianna is part of a new experimental trio, with soundcheck alumni Louis Reily. They are focused on using free improvisation to experiment with sound worlds. Between the three, they enjoy using influences of jazz, folk, pop, and classical elements in their work. Rhianna was also apart of the CelloWercken Academy in the Netherlands this year. She had the opportunity to collaborate with the Singer-Songwriter and cellist Madara.
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Viv Griffin
Viv Griffin is a 22-year-old bassist from Manchester, playing with an eclectic mix of artists around Manchester alongside being a member of space-jazz band Apollo House and writing/producing original music and visual art as part of electronic pop duo Beck Pocket. Her Soundcheck idea will see Beck Pocket combine elements of maximalist pop with groove-based electronica and jazz harmony/improvisation using a full band and Ableton.
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Ajay Berriman
Ajay is a student of music. And its -ology. Probably a poststructuralist. Also a mammal (certainly a Brian Eno copy cat writing this). A son. A Bignall Ender. An artist. A brother. An inventor. A Capoeirista. A friend. A musician of the year. A maths-debater. A singer. An improviser. A teacher. A pianist. A bopper. A producer. A bassist. A double bassist. A writer. A gamer. A keytarist. A dead author, though he is not convinced that history is ended right just now.
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