Manchester Jazz Festival discovers incredible young talent in citywide piano trail competition

Nine year old Leo Cheung from Beswick has been selected as the winner of Manchester Jazz Festival’s piano trail competition and he’s thrilled to receive a Yamaha P45 piano as first prize. On receiving his prize Leo said “Fantastic! I never dreamed I’d win first prize”.

James Sargeant from Yamaha said “Congratulations Leo on winning this year’s MJF Piano Trail competition! Your performance was fabulous and all of us at Yamaha were super impressed with your composition too! Enjoy your prize and keep playing, you’ll be a star one day!”

The mjf piano trail, delivered in partnership with the world renowned Forysth’s Music shop of Deansgate, was part of mjf2022 which took place at venues across the city from May 20 – 29.

13 street pianos were dotted around the city for passers-by to play in the build up to this year’s jazz festival. Over 2000 pianists, young and old bought the city alive with music and the search to find Manchester’s best street pianist resulted in over 100 entries.

The 13 pianos were located at The Arndale Centre, The Corn Exchange, Forsyth 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.

Leo’s performance of his own composition, which was captured by his mum Janet, can be seen at alongside the other ten prize winners whose skills ranged from concert pianists to the occasional ivory tickler.

Emma Loat, Manager of Forsyth’s Music, said, "It's been a fun if tough job whittling down the many and varied competition entries to find the eventual winners. We were impressed with Leo's creativity and poise at the piano at such a young age! We are sure Leo will benefit from the Yamaha digital piano he has won and look forward to watching him grow as a composer and pianist!'

Steve Mead from Manchester Jazz Festival said: “Leo’s skill and musicality combined with his amazing creativity impressed us all. He’s a worthy winner of the mjf piano trail competition.”
All competition winners can be seen here

The prizes are:
  • Yamaha: Yamaha Digital Piano P-45B
  • Northern Rail: Four tickets at any time to anywhere on Northern rail network
  • Quayside MediaCityUK prize package including:
  • 2 x £25 Quayside Gift Card, two lots of two tickets to Vue Cinema, a copy of Salford Edition Monopoly and two lots of two tickets for ITV Jungle Challenge
  • 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.

All prize winners also received a £30 Wagamama gift voucher, courtesy of the Spinningfields branch.

Visit for more information.

Follow mjf on Facebook and Instagram @manchesterjazzfestival and Twitter @ManJazzFest for all the latest festival news. #mjf2022