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FREE shows to see at Manchester Jazz Festival before it finishes


With just a little under a week left until the Manchester Jazz Festival closes for another year, fans who aren’t too keen on waiting that long will be happy to know that there are still plenty of chances to catch a show – for free!

This year’s festival got off to an incredible start with the streets of Manchester practically turning into a set straight out of La La Land. Over 100 shows are being performed live throughout the city, featuring some of the best contemporary jazz from the across the region, the UK and abroad.

And while jazz may not be to everybody’s taste – Tony Wilson famously reckoned jazz musicians enjoy themselves more than anyone listening to them does – but there’s nothing wrong with trying something different for a change.

With mostly new and original material, the festival is going above and beyond to encourage multiple genres of contemporary jazz  to break down musical boundaries. If that still doesn’t convince you that it needs checking out, maybe these free shows can persuade you. Simply turn up and enjoy yourself!

Wednesday 2 August 2017


Pic Atsushi Yukutake

Fast-rising young Mancunian quartet of ex-RNCM students inspired by rock, contemporary electronic music and minimalism, with soulful vocals spiralling over rich, funk-infused grooves and textures.

18.30 / Festival Square

Thursday 3 August 2017

Alexander Bone & Friends


Saxophonist Alex – BBC Young Musician Jazz Award  Winner 2014 – gives a one-off performance with mentors from his study days at Chetham’s, Steve Berry and Les Chisnall, in an informal setting that showcases all their exceptional talents with a selection of new and familiar songs.

11.30 / The Bridgewater Hall Foyer


Pic Kris Extance

Rangeela (it means colourful in Urdu) pushes the adventurous Indo-jazz fusions of the 1960s into a C21st urban melting pot of jazz, groove, funk and Indian classical, creating a warm, undulating, sound and a sincere fusion of cultures and styles.

18.30 / Festival Square

Friday 4 August 2017

Wandering Monster

Pic Porl Medlock

Bassist Sam Quintana’s outlet for inventive, energetic compositions: intense melodies and electrifying off-kilter grooves, passionately played by these accomplished young instrumentalists from the Leeds jazz scene.

11.30 / The Bridgewater Hall Foyer

Têtes de Pois

A new Leeds-based 8-piece on the Tight Lines label, mixing jazz, Afrobeat, hip-hop, and neo-soul – relaxed grooves and silvery horns setting you up perfectly for a Friday night.

18.30 / Festival Square

Mighty Stranger

Pic Alex Smith

Young student players from the RNCM showcase the talents of fast-rising talented bandleader Caitlin with a selection of completely new compositions in the mainstream, modern and funky vein.

18.30 / RNCM, Carole Nash Recital Room (ticket needed)

Saturday 5 August 2017

Back Chat Brass

Pic Maria Alzamora

Another young band which premiered its first gig at Matt and Phreds. Back Chat Brass knows how to get a party started and is guaranteed to electrify with its own brass take on classic tunes.

12.30, 14.00 & 16.00 / Festival Square

Sunday 6 August 2017

Lucy Mae

Lucy Mae’s soulful, raspy voice and relevant lyrics are a perfect foil for her regular collaborations with local spoken word artists. Her band fuses jazz, r’n’b and hip-hop to create its own brand of jazz-hop.

14.15 & 16.15 / Festival Square

For more information about events and ticketing, visit or call the ticketing office on 0843 208 1848.

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