Opera North Blog

Yorkshire Festival presents The Songlines Series at the Howard Assembly Room


Yorkshire Festival (16 June - 3 July) comes to the Howard Assembly Room with The Songlines Series: five exceptional folk and world music concerts programmed in conjunction with Songlines magazine.

Rising from the ashes of Congolese icons Staff Benda Bilili, who played an unforgettable show here in 2012, Mbongwana Star 'balance the sunshine vibes of soukous with the gritty reality of life in a Kinshasa slum'. Their 2015 debut album, From Kinshasa, was an unlikely but utterly glorious combination of traditional Congolese rhythms and scorching electronics. They open the series in exuberant fashion on Wednesday 22 June.

Having given one of the most electrifying performances ever seen in the venue on her 2013 visit, Malian singer, songwriter and guitarist Rokia Traoré makes a triumphant return with her new album Né So on 23 June.

German prepared pianist Hauschka (Friday 24 June) wedges toys, screws, bits of wood and other assorted foreign objects into his instrument, coaxing out sounds of arresting, spectral beauty that weave together techno, electronica and ambient music with the spirit of John Cage.

A Hawk and A Hacksaw are a duo from New Mexico featuring violinist Heather Trost and accordionist/drummer Jeremy Barnes (also of Jeff Mangum's cult legends Neutral Milk Hotel). Steeped in the musical traditions of Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey, they play works from their back catalogue and forthcoming album on Wednesday 29 June.

Eliza Carthy closes the season with a celebration of her extraordinary career so far on Saturday 2 July, accompanied by her Wayward Band of eleven folk legends.

For details of the entire new season at the Howard Assembly Room, visit our Spring feature. To book, click on the links above or call Box Office on 0844 848 2727.

Top: Rokia Traoré at the Howard Assembly Room, November 2013. Photo: Tom Arber

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