mjf soundcheck

Alex Noble

Sound and Music news
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Kenny Clayton
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mjf soundcheck is for musicians aged 18-25 and based in Greater Manchester who want space to try out new things and be supported to grow creatively. The process is simple – you apply with a musical idea that you want to develop and we help you to do that, through 1-1 meetings, pairing you with a brilliant artist mentor, introducing you to inspiring industry professionals and encouraging you to meet other musicians.

Over eight weeks, you’ll identify and transform your musical insecurities, unleash your hidden ambitions and hone your creative style. By the end of the programme you’ll showcase a short new piece of music that reflects your learning and it might even surprise you!

“Soundcheck has inspired me to make new connections, challenge myself, make music in different ways and to generally believe in myself more as a musician.”

You don’t have to have studied music before, and we’d love it if jazz or improvisation is entirely new to you.

On the previous round we worked with a pop/folk singer-songwriter with no background in jazz but had an interest in using jazz harmony in their songs, a punk artist who wanted to try making music all by themselves for the first time, a metal bassist, a producer, and a singer who wanted to try improvising. Previous artists have gone on to perform at mjf events, release full albums, form new collaborations with fellow participants, and meet their artistic heroes!

“I learned to stick to my unique musical values, and not adhere to what other people think is normal/what I should be making.”

On mjf soundcheck, artists will:

  • Be paired with a mentor from our mjf hothouse programme for three one-hour sessions. This mentor offers musical, personal and professional support, as well as insights into how they progressed their musical careers.
  • Be paired with an industry professional who can offer inspiration and guidance tailored to your journey. Previous rounds included David Agnew (Artistic Director at The Met in Bury, Manchester Folk Festival), Steve Lawson (internationally renowned bassist), Graham McKenzie (Artistic Director of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival) Clare Morel (Session Vocalist and Community Musician), Ed Kainyek (the founder of Manchester’s jam night scene).
  • Meet one-to-one with mjf Artistic Director Steve Mead, to explore new music, receive a personalised playlist and delve into what makes your music unique.
  • Form lasting relationships with the mjf team, industry professionals and the other musicians.
  • Receive feedback on the music you create over the programme at our showcase, at which everyone you’ve met along the way will be present!

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