May 5, 2022
We’re proud to be the official piano partner for Manchester Jazz Festival 2022. As part of this partnership we have provided 13 pianos to be the #mjfpianotrail that have now been installed in venues across the city centre.
We’re bringing music to the streets of Manchester this May with the mjf piano trail #mjfpianotrail, from May 6 – 29. There are 13 pianos scattered across Manchester for pianists to discover and enjoy. Many of the host venues have also asked to keep their piano after the Festival has finished which is great news for the ’street pianists’ of Manchester! The map below reveals where you will find them.
And for those who think they can give Elton John a run for his money, a competition to find Manchester’s best street pianists will also run, with a whole raft of prizes up for grabs including a Yamaha P-45B piano, return ticket for 4 anywhere on the Northern Rail Network, a gift package and vouchers worth over £100 from Quayside Media City UK and a £30 Wagamama voucher for each prize winner.
Technical talent or formal training is not necessary, and the competition is open to all from concert pianists to the occasional ivory tickler.
The 13 piano’s will be located around the city at: The Arndale Centre, The Corn Exchange, Forsyth’s Music shop, Great Northern, Harvey Nichols, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Central Library, Manchester Piccadilly Station, Quayside Media City UK, Royal Exchange Arcade, Spinningfields, The Trafford Centre, and Manchester Victoria Station.
Emma Loat, Manager of Forsyth’s Music, said:
“For many years, we’ve had a street piano at the front of the Forsyth’s shop on Deansgate so we know that Manchester and the surrounding areas is full of talented musicians and those willing to have a go.
“We’re really excited to supply 13 pianos for the mjf piano trail and we’d urge all those budding performers to come forward, have a go and be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes.”
mjf piano trail competition
Whether you play professional jazz or have never touched a note before there are no rules regarding who can apply, what kind of music you play and what your performance involves. At the end of the piano trail mjf and Forsyth’s will select 9 winners based on who showed the most creativity, ingenuity and gave the best performances.
To be in with a chance to be named one of Manchester’s best street pianists:
- find one of the pianos in the trail
- capture a short video of your performance
- post the video to your Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter account
- tagging in @manchesterjazzfestival / @manjazzfest and using the hashtag #mjfpianotrail
If you don’t have a social media account, you can upload the video to an online player such as YouTube or Vimeo and/or email the video directly to us, using #mjfpianotrail as your email subject line.
The prizes up for grabs are:
- Yamaha: Yamaha Digital Piano P-45B
- Wagamama: A £30 Wagamama gift voucher for all winners
- Doner Haus: Meal for up to 4 including pre/post drink
- Lion’s Den, Deansgate Mews: £50 bar tab
- Manchester Art Gallery: Afternoon Tea for two
- Jenny Jones: a pair of saxophone cufflinks or a soul stone necklace
- 20 Stories: Afternoon tea for two with a glass of fizz
- The Lawn Club: A complimentary pod booking and a bottle of Prosecco, for up to six people.
- Northern Rail: Four tickets at any time to anywhere on Northern rail network
- Quayside MediaCityUK: prize package includes:
2 x £25 Quayside Gift Card
Two lots of two tickets to Vue Cinema
Copy of Salford Edition Monopoly
Two lots of two tickets for ITV Jungle Challenge
March 30, 2022
A round up of our sheet music and instrument recommendations for March - Follow our social media to keep up to date!
Sheet music recommendations:
Lin-Manuel Miranda Productions
Hamilton: The musical about Alexander Hamilton debuted on Broadway in August 2015 to unprecedented advanced box office sales and has already become one of the most successful Broadway musicals ever. This book of vocal selections features 17 songs in piano/vocal format. https://tinyurl.com/3ejjdh2r
In the Heights: The 2008 Broadway musical In the Heights explores three days in the characters’ lives in the New York City Latino neighborhood of Washington Heights, with an infectious score featuring hip-hop, salsa, merengue, and soul music. The piano/vocal selections songbook features 14 tunes from the production, which won the Tony for Best Musical and Best Original Score, plus awards from the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theatre World, and more! https://tinyurl.com/45ajn5c5
Encanto: Encanto has taken the music world by storm. The catchy single “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” shot to the top of the Billboard singles chart, the soundtrack topped the album charts, and the momentum only keeps growing! The souvenir matching folio features eight pages of color artwork from the movie plus 9 songs arranged for piano and voice with guitar chords. https://tinyurl.com/mr3ryrx3
Jazz Piano Standards
Henry Mancini: American composer, conductor, arranger, and pianist, Henry Mancini, is often cited as one of the greatest composers in the history of film. He won four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and twenty Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. This folio features 20 of his songs, including The Pink Panther, Moon River, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. https://tinyurl.com/32h9enrk
Pop Standards: Chord symbols accompany jazz-infused arrangements of 23 pop standards, including Bridge over Troubled Water, Every Breath You Take, God Only Knows, How Deep Is Your Love, Imagine, Just the Way You Are, and many more. This is a great choice for anyone who wants to play a bit of jazz with lots of familiar tunes! https://tinyurl.com/yc3musuy
Jazz Ballads: Maybe one of these fresh solo piano arrangements with chord names of 24 favorite ballads in a jazz style is what you’re after. Included in this songbook is Body and Soul, I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry, Misty, My Funny Valentine, The Nearness of You, When I Fall in Love, and many more! https://tinyurl.com/5h8vnznn
Squier Contemporary Active Starcaster Gunmetal Metallic
A Starcaster made for metal - no, we didn’t see it coming either, but it’s pretty damn cool! With two active SQR humbucking pickups, you can chug away to hearts content on this modern looking classic. Roasted maple necks are so in vogue right now, and the ease of playability with this guy is another excellent reason to add it to your arsenal. https://tinyurl.com/mrxp27h8
Yamaha Arius YDP-144
Offering the acclaimed sound of Yamaha CFX Concert Grand Piano, but in a compact and home-friendly form, this affordable digital piano is a great choice for any hobbyist. The YDP-144 features a full 88-key range, and with Yamaha’s ‘Graded Hammer Standard’ key action, you can expect a similar response to a genuine acoustic piano; with a heavy feel on the lower keys and a lighter, more sensitive sensation in the higher register. Furthermore, the ‘Intelligent Acoustic Control’ and ‘Stereophonic Optimiser’ functions ensure appropriately balanced sound for any volume level (while also working with headphones!). https://tinyurl.com/7hxjd9jv
An impressive addition to Kawai’s digital piano line-up, the KDP120 features the Responsive Hammer Compact II keyboard action, beautiful Shigeru Kawai SK-EX grand piano sounds, convenient Bluetooth® and USB connectivity, and support for the latest PianoRemote and PiaBookPlayer apps, delivering grand piano touch and tone at an affordable price. A great alternative to the Yamaha Arius YDP-144 (see our Facebook and Instagram for a side by side comparison video!). https://tinyurl.com/8nrp6rxc
Ortega Keiki Ukulele Packs
The unique designs were created by Italian artist Guglielmo Gasloli, who trained in the environment of street art, his style is characterized by a horror-vacui of subjects elaborated by his “flow of conscience”. His style is rich in colours, geometries, and attention to detail. Part of Ortega’s Keiki brand which represents a new generation of colourful, playful, spirited instruments and accessories. These packs are available in Peace and El Muerto designs, and come with a headstock tuner, a soundhole hook, 5 picks and a drawstring bag! https://tinyurl.com/2am77kek
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March 27, 2022
Due to a retirement after 20 years of dedicated service, we are looking to add a new member to the Forsyth team to help maintain the building and undertake deliveries around the North West. This is an essential role to help with our continuing refurbishing programme, day to day maintenance as well as delivering everything from double basses to grand pianos!
To read more about this role please visit:- https://www.forsyths.co.uk/content/347-building-maintenance-and-delivery-driver-ft-or-pt
Closing date Monday 25th April 2022
March 8, 2022
New for 2022, we are pleased to announce a series of 8 recitals sponsored by Bösendorfer. This is a continuation of our successful series of recitals that started after the last Covid-19 Lockdown and continued throughout the rest of 2021 by popular demand! During the lockdown period we took advantage of being closed to the public and transformed our spectacular piano showroom by installing new flooring and balustrading. We also rearranged the showroom enabling us to transform into a wonderful venue after hours and seat an audience of up to around 90 people. Through these difficult pandemic times audiences have felt safe and comfortable as the informal seating layout enables everyone to stay spaced out. You can read more and see some pictures of past events here.
With Bösendorfer’s help we are able to continue offering free evening recitals and are pleased to present a range of artists both established and up and coming. All fantastic musicians offering a unique opportunity to experience live music in the glorious acoustics of Forsyth’s historic piano showroom.
Further details can be found on our website here https://www.forsyths.co.uk/content/category/8-Forsyth-Events
To book your seat for any of the forthcoming recitals please email [email protected] or phone 0161 834 3281 ext 100
March 2, 2022
February was a busy month and we had lots of new items in the shop. Our team has been posting updates through our social media channels, so do be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (links provided at the bottom of this post). For anyone who might have missed these updates, below you can find a few highlights from the last month!
Sheet music recommendations:
Adele - 30: Adele’s fourth studio album, “30″, received widespread acclaim, with many critics and fans dubbing it her best album yet. The official album songbook presents each track in an arrangement for piano, voice, and guitar. Click here.
ABBA - Voyage: The artist-approved songbook for ABBA’s highly anticipated ninth album. A wonderful and accurate transcription of the brilliant tracks for piano, voice, and guitar. Learn more.
Ed Sheeran - Equls: An international success, = (’equals’) topped the charts in 15 countries! Ed called this 2021 release his “coming-of-age” record. Our matching folio features all 14 of its tracks arranged for piano and voice with guitar chord frames. If you’re looking for an older track, we also have the songbooks for ‘X’ and ‘Divide’ available. See Ed’s songbooks here.
Ludovico Einaudi - ‘Underwater’: Einaudi’s lockdown project, his first solo album in 20 years, is captured well in the following review: “The result is superb – eloquent, graceful, serene and thought-provoking, this exquisitely conceived and composed work is unadulterated joy”. A great choice for any pianist! Click here.
Alban Gerhardt - The Cello Suites: Performed with ease and grace, Gerhardt’s recording of Bach’s Cello Suites provides a spontaneous-sounding, yet personal interpretation of this beloved masterwork.
George Ezra - ‘Staying at Tamara’s’: The second studio album by English singer-songwriter, George Ezra, reached number one in the UK as well as the top ten of several other countries including Australia and New Zealand. It was the UK’s best-selling artist album of the year in 2018 and was nominated for British Album of the Year at the 2019 Brit Awards.
Introducing the Kawai CA59: An affordable instrument with a solid wooden key action perfect for a pianist who can’t splash out on an acoustic just yet. Ideal for families who have children sitting piano exams (even mum or dad can have a go too). An excellent piano for beginners and intermediate players to practice late into the night without disturbing the neighbours! Learn more here.
Martin Grand J-16E 12 String Acoustic Guitar: With a solid sitka spruce top and solid East Indian rosewood back and sides, this behemoth of a 12 string sounds massive - with wonderful twinkly moments mixed in with a huge low end. Featuring the Fishman Matrix VT Enhance pickup, this US built Martin is ideal for the stage too, and would fit in any professional’s line up. Click here.
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February 27, 2022
We are pleased ot be able to offer pianists opportunities to take part in FREE workshops to help improve their technique and meet like minded pianists. We have two sesssions coming up at Forsyths which are excellent opportunities for pianists at all stages of their learning. This is part of a rolling programme of events for our customers - please do keep an eye on our website for further information aboug other future events.
6th March: Manchester Piano Forum - A Way into ‘Mental Practice’ with pianist Hery Cash
Henry is a superb up and coming young pianist who will be helping participants to think about practicing away from the piano and techniques for improving memorising music. You can find out more on our website here:- https://www.forsyths.co.uk/content/334-a-way-into-mental-practice-with-henry-cash
24th April: Piano Workshop with Susan Bettaney
Susan is a wonderfully supportive and encouraging educator with decades of experience teaching pianists at Chethams School of Music. Her ever popular workshops are a real opportunity to play with a supportive audience and benefit from the sage advice of Susan. More details here:- https://www.forsyths.co.uk/content/342-24-april-2022-piano-workshop-with-susan-bettaney
February 4, 2022
We will be sad to say goodbye to our long-term member of staff Paul McKiernan who will be retiring after 36 years of helping customers find the right musical instrument. Paul is a font of knowledge on many things including all things woodwind and brass…and pretty much every other instrument and accessory we sell!
We, therefore, have an exciting full-time opportunity opening up for a woodwind and brass specialist - with a particular emphasis on woodwind.
You can read all about the exciting new opportunity here. Deadline for applications Wednesday 16th February.
January 12, 2022
Faith Guitars produce some of the best value-for-money solid body acoustics available. The Faith Naked Venus is probably our bestselling electro-acoustic. Testimony to these wonderful instruments.
But Faith Guitars are commited to more than great construction and sound. They have pledged to plant at least one tree for every guitar sold globaly from the start of 2022.
Resulting from a partnership with not-for-profit, JUST ONE Tree, this action recognises the importance of an ethical and sustainable approach to instrument manufacturing.
Alex Mew, Brand Director of Faith Guitars, stated “Working in conjunction with JUST ONE Tree will allow us to make a more positive environmental impact and we’re particularly pleased that they work closely with local communities in parts of Indonessia, not only replanting forests and mangroves, but also creating sustainable incomes too”.
We strongly support this move and are delighted to provide the following Faith Guitars at a discounted price:
The Blood Moon is a fine sounding and immaculately built compact body guitar with a great pickup system, so it’s ideal as a stage guitar whether you’re playing open mics or big venues. The Venus body size, which is a little more compact than a 000 but relatively deep, is big enought to be nicely resonant unplugged but small enough to feel very comfortable on a strap. It’s a strong statement but about as cool as a guitar can get (so long as you like the colour blue).
£1,112.00 £899.00. Learn more.
When you buy a Naked you’re getting the same high quality solid woods that come on the Standard series, but by using a simple satin finish , no binding and a gig bag instead of a hard case the price is considerably lower. Unplugged it sounds marvellous, a bright and lively sounding guitarthat responds quickly and with lots of dynamic range. It’s also a lovely size, very compact for an orchestral style body so whever you’re curled up on the couch with it or slinginging it on a strap at a gig it feels very manageable. If you’re in the market for an affordable electro we really don’t think it gets much better than this!
£609.00 £459.00. Learn more.
Looking for a 12 string? The combination of a 15″ lower bout and a slimmer depth of body looks to classic OM or Auditorium body-shapes for inspiration, and makes the Venus the perfect compromise. What remains unusual however, is finding a smaller bodied guitar in a 12 string guise. The Venus 12 remains remarkably easy to play, and will deliver that special 12 string sound with gusto.
£705.00 £126.00. Learn more.
The Neptune Blue Moon is a truly individual instrument. One of the beauties of genuinely solid, natural tonewoods is that each piece of solid timber used will vary in its natural colouration and its particular grain patterns, making your instrument unique. Tonally, the java mango top has an interesting character. It is not as loud and punchy as rosewood, nor as straightforwardly mellow as mahogany, yet it bears its own distinctive warmth. The overall tone could be described as dark and moody. The reduced level of resonant overtones makes the Blue Moon a perfect stage guitar: Eminently controllable, balanced and resistant to feedback.
£979.00 £846.00. Learn more.
The Neptune Baritone Hi Gloss is the very first Baritone model Faith have produced. The baby-jumbo shape pocesses a long neck and scale length, fitted with higher gauge strings, enabling lower register tuning. The Baritone sounds low enough to stand out from a standard acoustic yet still cut above the bass. It features an all-over high-gloss finish that is particularly effective in aiding the natural resonance of the Neptune body shape, while ensuring a fantastic level of clarity, string articulation, and volume.
£1,239.00 £950.00. Learn more.
A little beauty, this Mercury is a traditional short-scale parlour model. With the neck joining the body at the 12th fret - rather than the 14th - the strings are held at a slightly lower tension than on regular models and the bridge is shifted further from the soundhole. These features result in a guitar that is physically easier to play, sounds much bigger than you would imagine and is also simple to handle and transport.
£779.00 £636.00. Learn more.
One of the original Faith shapes that launched the brand at the beginning of this century, this Saturn is a square-shouldered dreadnought design. The Spruce top and Mahogany body is 100% solid tonewood, in keeping with all other Faith series. However, the cosmetics and non-essential dressing have been stripped away, leaving the guitars in their natural, Naked state. Satin finished all over, the tonewood is almost entirely unrestricted in its resonant movement, so the tone delivered is far beyond what is normally expected at this price level.
£562.00 £420.00. Learn more.