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MJC’s inspiration came from an evening of new music for large ensemble, presented by Efpi and written by Johnny Hunter and me in 2014. Saxophonist Kyran Matthews was a part of this evening and a few months later set up the ten-piece Manchester Jazz Collective.

MJC quickly found a monthly residency at The Wonder Inn, a short-lived but very important venue in central Manchester which for around three years was home to all manner of creative activity. Through these monthly sessions, a repertoire of some nine hours of music was built up, mostly written by composers Kyran Matthews, Paul Baxter, Johnny Hunter and Andrew Stamatakis-Brown. Guest composer/performers included Dee Byrne, Richard Iles, Abel Selaocoe, Rachel Maby and Misha Gray. Since the closure of The Wonder Inn, the group has performed across the North of England as a member of Jazz North’s Northern Line scheme.