The Howard Assembly Room is a 350-capacity performance venue, rehearsal space and educational centre that lies within the Grade II-listed Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House. Restored to its Victorian Gothic splendour and furnished in a most graceful modernist style, this large double-vaulted chamber was reopened to the public in January 2009.
As the Howard Assembly Room fast approaches its tenth anniversary it has just revealed full details of its upcoming programme of events. Rightly renowned for consistently presenting a remarkable schedule of musical performances, films, talks and family workshops, the sheer breadth and diverse quality of its autumn season confirms the venue’s position as one of continually enriching the cultural life of the West Yorkshire city and its surrounding region.
Looking ahead to the listings in Howard Assembly Room’s forthcoming programme, God Is In The TV has picked out a number of selected highlights.
By the 21st of September, the autumn season is already in full swing and this date marks the appearance of Bill Ryder-Jones. The West Kirby tunesmith is a master of how best to marry melody with melancholy as ‘Mither’, the first track to be shared from his fourth album Yawn (set for release on 2nd November via Domino) firmly attests.
A little over three weeks later on the 13th of October it is the turn of the Mingus Big Band to grace the Howard Assembly Room stage. Celebrating the music of Charles Mingus and managed by the legendary American jazz double bassist, pianist, composer and bandleader’s widow Sue Mingus, the ensemble are set to perform a wide range of his contemporary jazz compositions with what will undoubtedly be astonishing flair and adventure.
On the 16th of November the virtuoso solo percussionist Evelyn Glennie join forces with fellow Scots Trio HLK for what promises to be an exhilarating evening of rhythmic deconstruction, reconstruction, improvisation and visceral experimentation.
Overnight the musical emphasis shifts from jazz to folk to welcome the English songwriter and composer Chris Wood to the HAR the following evening. A huge exponent of traditional dance music, Wood is perhaps above all else a brilliant storyteller. Expect to hear some wonderful tales and sharp observations about the world at large and the minutiae of day-to-day life delivered with the greatest of passion and power.
Later that month on the 23rd of November 65daysofstatic won’t have too far to travel when they head up the M1 to Leeds from their home city of Sheffield. And with the epic ambition of their explorative soundscapes, the instrumental post-rock quartet will provide yet more evidence of the ever-increasing reach of Howard Assembly Room’s artistic compass.
Twenty four hours later and Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, respective maestros of the classical harp and kora, will bring their remarkable musical collaboration to the Howard Assembly Room. Their hypnotic sound is one that forges a link between the cultures and traditions of their native countries, a connection between Wales and Mali and one made all the more thrilling because of its unlikely union.
And then a fortnight before Christmas the highly acclaimed American singer, songwriter and composer Julia Holter returns to the Howard Assembly Room for what will be the first time in five years. The Los Angeles artist’s individual, imaginative, and intuitive compositions promise to be a magical prelude to the festive season.
The full event listings for the autumn season in the Howard Assembly Room can be found HERE