Saturday, 22 July 2017

Steve Mead's top tips at Manchester Jazz Festival

Steve Mead, mjf Artistic Director offers his top tips for those discovering jazz for the first time or for those feeling ‘spoilt for choice’ at the Manchester Jazz Festival (28 July - 6 August)

Riot Jazz Brass Band – energetic, fun, with an opening party vibe. This is music for dancing feet and dancing heads.

Afternoon Tea: Charlie Cooper Trio – a vintage soul songstress whose tuneful music makes for a classy all-round experience in the splendid surroundings of The Midland; a special treat for friends and family and a chance to see the musicians close-up.

Haggis Horns at Matt & Phreds – the classic jazz-club experience, with danceable soul, funk and rhythmic jazz in Manchester’s renowned jazz venue. Hot and sweaty and great fun!
At Band on The Wall – The African Salsa Orchestra; a foot-tapping Cuban salsa melting pot – try it for yourself in their African Salsa workshop beforehand (part of the ticket for this gig!).

The Breath: fast-rising Manchester band with players from the Cinematic Orchestra: folky songs and a big sound led by Rioghnach – the charismatic Irish vocalist who fronts the band.

The Improvisation Salon: your chance to improvise and/or play an instrument for the first time! Get to make music with friends and strangers and play xylophones, marimbas and tuned percussion. Anyone can do it!

Shri – Just a Vibration: a prize-winning, big-sounding, fun ‘Bombay mix’ of styles. Composer-producer, Shri  and his musicians are joined by seventeen members of the Hammonds Saltaire Brass Band to create music described by The Guardian as: “An entertainingly varied set that would make great film music.”

Mali Hayes: a young Mancunian vocalist on the free outdoor stage in Albert Square where you can relax with friends after work to soulful sounds and be the first to witness rising talent.

Zee Guveya and the Heritage Survival: dance the night away with easy Afro beats and lively rhythms – feel-good music with a warm and tropical vibe.

Clouds Harp Quartet: a rare chance to see 4 harps together: beautiful, enchanting sounds in the cool and calm setting of Central Library.

Baked à la Ska: another Manchester favourite – they turn the unlikeliest of pop tunes into a ska-jazz dance party; funny, foot-tapping and fab.

Horse Orchestra: from Copenhagen, these guys turn jazz on its head – anarchic and fun, superb instrumentalists but with a cheeky sideways glance across jazz, their theatrical antics will raise a smile and make you marvel at how they keep it all together.

Lucy Mae: on the free outdoor stage on our chill-out finale Sunday, Lucy is a relaxed but passionate singer-songwriter and perfect for afternoon easy-going beats. Songs that sound familiar but new at the same time.

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