We’re bringing music to the streets of Manchester this May with the mjf piano trail, delivered with our friends Forysth’s Music shop. 

From May 6 – 29, the mjf piano trail will see pianos dotted throughout Manchester available for all passers-by to play.  

And for those who think they can give Elton John a run for his money, a competition to find Manchester’s best street pianists will also run, with a whole raft of prizes up for grabs including a Yamaha P-45B piano, return ticket for 4 anywhere on the Northern Rail Network, a gift package and vouchers worth over £100 from Quayside Media City UK and a £30 Wagamama voucher for each prize winner.  

Technical talent or formal training is not necessary, and the competition is open to all from concert pianists to the occasional ivory tickler.  

The 13 piano’s will be located around the city at: The Arndale Centre, The Corn Exchange, Forsyth’s Music shop, Great Northern, Harvey Nichols, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Central Library, Manchester Piccadilly Station, Quayside Media City UK, Royal Exchange Arcade, Spinningfields, The Trafford Centre, and Manchester Victoria Station.

Emma Loat, Manager of Forsyth’s Music, said:

“For many years, we’ve had a street piano at the front of the Forsyth’s shop on Deansgate so we know that Manchester and the surrounding areas is full of talented musicians and those willing to have a go.  

“We’re really excited to supply 13 pianos for the mjf piano trail and we’d urge all those budding performers to come forward, have a go and be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes.” 


mjf piano trail competition

Whether you play professional jazz or have never touched a note before there are no rules regarding who can apply, what kind of music you play and what your performance involves. At the end of the piano trail mjf and Forsyth’s will select 9 winners based on who showed the most creativity, ingenuity and gave the best performances. 

To be in with a chance to be named one of Manchester’s best street pianists:

  1. find one of the pianos in the trail
  2. capture a short video of your performance
  3. post the video to your Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter account
  4. tagging in @manchesterjazzfestival / @manjazzfest and using the hashtag #mjfpianotrail

If you don’t have a social media account, you can upload the video to an online player such as YouTube or Vimeo and/or email the video directly to us, using #mjfpianotrail as your email subject line.

The prizes up for grabs are: 


Read the mjf2022 piano trail competition T&C’s here