The long running Manchester Jazz Festival is back in the city from 26 July until 4 August. The musical marathon has been a major event on the Manchester cultural calendar since 1996 and has just gone from strength to strength ever since. In 2004 Manchester City Council confirmed the extravaganza as one of its ‘Pillar Events’ and as such is fortunate enough to receive funding from the local authority. The main aim of the festival is to get behind regional jazz artists and encourage all of the genres of contemporary jazz to come together and break down any barriers or boundaries. The festival surely achieves this through hosting an average of 70-80 events involving some 400+ musicians.
The festival is hosted at various key musical venues throughout the heart of the city as well as taking up residence in some rather unusual locations. The Midland – a Grade 2 listed luxury hotel – and the historic St Ann’s Church hold their own amongst venues such as Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club and The Bridgewater Hall. As always, there will also be lots of outdoor gigs, so keep your fingers crossed that the heat wave continues!
While in previous years the festival has spanned 9 days, this year an extra day has been added to provide a ‘chilled out’ Sunday afternoon. As usual there will be a mixture of ticketed events ranging in price from £3 to £25, alongside lots and lots of free events – so there really is something for everyone.
There will be a delicious range of food and drink available at all venues, but if you fancy something a little different, why not opt for ‘Afternoon Tea’ at the Midland Hotel. This offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the glamour of the Midland, while taking in some cool jazz alongside a selection of cakes, scones and sandwiches. Tickets sell out fast for this one, so don’t leave it too late. Whichever venues and whichever bands you opt to see, don’t forget to book your transport to the gig through Swinton Travel, leaving you free to have a drink and truly relax.