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From 18 April – 26 May 2024, the mjf piano trail saw  14 free to access pianos dotted throughout Manchester available for all passers-by to play. In collaboration with our friends at Forsyth Music shop and Yamaha, 2024 also saw the return of the competition to find Manchester’s best street pianists, with a whole raft of prizes up for grabs including… a digital Yamaha P145 piano!  

Our mission, each year with the trai, is to encourage everyone within our Manchester community to come together and share in the joy of music-making! 

The 14 pianos were located around the city at: The Arndale Centre, The Corn Exchange, Forsyth Music shop, Factory International at Aviva Studios, Great Northern, Harvey Nichols, Manchester Central Library, Manchester Piccadilly Station, Quayside Media City UK, Royal Exchange Arcade, Spinningfields, HOME, Trafford Plazzo and Manchester Victoria Station.   

 Full line-up of activities alongside the piano trail included:   

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “This city-region has music running through its veins, and helping connect people to new musical experiences and supporting talented musicians has always been so important to us. The mjf2024 piano trail will take music back out onto the streets of Manchester, giving more people the chance to try their hand at playing and to encounter the vibrant music of our city in a unique way.” 

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 14 pianos to a growing number of venues 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.”  

James Sargeant from Yamaha, one of this year’s piano trail sponsors, added: “We are thrilled to be working with the Manchester Jazz Festival again this year in support of the mjf piano trail 2024. This fantastic initiative enables anyone and everyone to enjoy playing and listening to the piano, in some iconic locations across the city and of course, with the chance to win a Yamaha digital piano this is not an opportunity to be missed! We look forward to hearing lots of new talent which will no doubt emerge during the trail.” 

mjf piano trail competition 

The competition has now closed and our winners will be announced shortly.

Prizes to up for grabs this year were: 

 Please view the full T&C’s for the mjf2024 Piano Trail, at the link here.  

mjf2023 Piano Trail  

You can check out last year’s winning entry in the mjf 2023 Piano Trail from transatlantic folk singer Zoe Mulford below:  

“I only found out about the mjf piano trail during the last week of the festival. I dropped everything and went to scout out pianos.” – 2023 Winner, Zoe Mulford 

We also awarded prizes to 8 highly-talented runner ups, including the inspirational 12-year-old blind pianist Chapman Shum. Check out a snippet of each entry below.  

“The mjf piano trail is always great fun. I look forward to it every year! It provides people with the amazing opportunity to showcase their skills, and it opens up many different types of doors for everyone involved. I love it! Thank you so much! 😍” Runner up, Aminah