This year’s Manchester Jazz Festival (mjf) will be launched with Mancunity – a spectacular mass participation event – and organisers are encouraging the region’s musicians to get involved.

Created by award-winning composer Andy Scott, Mancunity is inspired by the beating heart of Manchester, the people, their resilience, music history and future facing attitude.

Starting from different points across the city, crowds can join north west artists as they lead musical processions towards the main stage in St Ann’s Square where they will hand the baton over to an eclectic hand-chosen ensemble of musicians who will then perform Mancunity to herald the official opening of mjf 2019.

The event is currently looking for musicians of any age, any standard and any style to take part in the event in St Ann’s Square from 4 – 5pm on Thursday 23 May.

All musicians need to take part is an instrument they can play whilst walking, that doesn’t require amplification. There is no music to learn, musicians just need the groove and ability to improvise anything they want for five minutes!

Musicians will be in a group of players taking part in a street parade, meeting initially in St Ann’s Square and then starting from three different city-centre locations. Musicians will be led along the pavements towards the main stage in St Ann’s Square, where all players will culminate on one note.

Players will then pass the musical baton to award-winning composer Andy Scott, who’ll begin his new work Mancunity live on stage to herald the opening of this year’s mjf.

Andy Scott said: “I am honoured and proud to have written Mancunity that will open Manchester Jazz Festival! Music is incredible; it draws people together, we work as a team, learn to communicate, learn to respect each other and listen, and Mancunity celebrates the many faces of our great city. I’d love you to be involved, whether it’s witnessing the World Premiere and/or playing a musical instrument in our parade that heralds the launch of MJF!! We’re one big team, music has the power to do this!”

Artistic Director Steve Mead said: “Mancunity is a fanfare to the future and a real celebration of our great city and we’re delighted to be opening this year’s festival with such a pioneering new commission. Now we need the help of Mancunians – whether it’s to take part as a musician, walking with the procession or simply absorbing the atmosphere in St Ann’s Square – this event is for everyone and will take audiences on a journey of imagination and positivity.”

To take part, participants need to sign up here before midnight on Sunday 19th May. Under 18’s are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

On the day, musicians will need to meet outside St Ann’s Church at 4pm, where they’ll be briefed by Andy Scott, before safely storing cases and belongings and beginning the procession.


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