The lowdown on our festive Free Jazz showcase

Our festive Free Jazz night on Friday 27th December is shaping up to be one of our most musically diverse to date, with acts exploring jazz fusion, hip-hop, funk, Indian classical fusion, jazz-rock and more. Entry is completely free, so even if you’ve gone slightly overboard on your Christmas spending, there’s no reason for you not to venture out and experience some great live music from four up-and-coming artists. Find out more here and get acquainted with the artists performing below.

Burton & Miller 

Consisting of drummer Emanuel J Burton and bassist Alex “Reverend Beanz” Miller, this duo have taken their synergistic relationship, apparent when collaborating in Emanuel J Burton’s Supergroup, and isolated in a freer musical setting. The Supergroup have been extremely active this year, supporting the likes of 30/70 collective, Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge, and Steam Down in Manchester and beyond, while Burton has had the pleasure of sitting in with Abstract Orchestra, Mutale Chashi’s group and others, showing the extent to which he is respected in the wider jazz and hip-hop scene. The pair play with energy and skill, finding inventive ideas in this simplest of set ups.

Heavy Lemo

Hailing from Liverpool, jazz funk outfit Heavy Lemo have released two singles since their last show at Band on the Wall, and also have a debut album in the works. The band features pianist Misha Gray (leader of his own Prehistoric Jazz Quintet featuring a host of Manchester’s finest players) cutting loose on electric keyboards and synths, with vocalist James Lyons bringing hip-hop flavour to the group dynamic. The band played at MJF earlier this year and always come with energy, enthusiasm, and bags full of tunes. Check out latest single Red Alert below.


Bringing the Indian Konnakol vocal style, in which the singer uses percussive syllables in tandem with acrobatic melodies, into contact with rock and fusion music is the basis of Wingspread’s sound. Their set will hear them applying this concept to a wide variety of tunes, and is certain to be eye-opening.

Will Tang Clan

Led by guitarist Will Tang, the Will Tang Clan is a collective of some of the most prominent working musicians on the Manchester live scene. Fusing various genres and keep things open and improvisational, the first clan single, Elephant, features contributions from Levelz MC Skittles.