From world music icons to classical masters, a typically wide-ranging selection of events for next year is already on sale at the Howard Assembly Room, with the full Winter 2017 season due for announcement in early December.
A Western Saharan born and raised in Algerian refugee camps, educated in Cuba and now living in exile in Barcelona, Aziza Brahim's haunting music (18 January) is informed by the hopes and pain of refugee life, and by the many musical cultures she has traversed.
Senegalese legends Orchestra Baobab make their long-awaited Howard Assembly Room debut on 4 February. From their inception in 1970, this multi-ethnic, multi-national club band – named after the nightclub in Dakar where they originated – revolutionised West African pop, and their 2001 reunion has given new generations of fans in Europe the chance to experience their electrifying live performance.
There’s a rare chance to see some of the greatest exponents of ancient Sufi devotional music on 25 March, with an intense set from Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali, led by the nephews and protégés of the late, great Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
A packed and richly varied FILMusic season includes Inuit throat singer and Björk and Kronos Quartet collaborator Tanya Tagaq’s soundtrack to the pioneering 1922 silent documentary Nanook of the North (23 January).
To coincide with Opera North’s season of dark fairy tales, broadcaster and author Sir Christopher Frayling talks about Angela Carter and her influence on the contemporary Gothic on 26 January, before introducing a screening of Jean Cocteau’s classic film La Belle et la Bête.
Following a sold out performance of the Twin Peaks soundtrack last year, Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart returns here on 17 February with another David Lynch collaboration. HEXA, his duo with Australian composer and artist Lawrence English, is a sonic response to the legendary director’s Factory Photographs.
A strong jazz season will open with high energy improvisation and instrumental ingenuity in the shape of stellar trio Douglas - Ribot – Ibarra (27 January). Three of New York’s most versatile improvisers play an energetic and lyrical new composition by the relentlessly inventive Dave Douglas.
Following a rapturous reception for his Snarky Puppy bandmate Cory Henry here in May, University of Leeds alumnus Bill Laurance brings home his new solo album Aftersun, heading a quartet featuring fellow Snarky Puppy musicians Michael League and Robert "Sput" Searight, along with legendary New Orleans percussionist Weedie Braihmah (6 March).
Ahead of his Opera North commission for Hull’s year as UK City of Culture, innovative Norwegian trumpet player Arve Henriksen collaborates with mesmerising vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval on a new programme exploring the ancient musical exchange between Norway and Iceland on 8 March.
Leveret (17 March) brings together a golden combination of folk’s finest instrumentalists: Sam Sweeney, Bellowhead’s fiddle-player, concertina player Rob Harbron and melodeon and accordion star Andy Cutting.
At 67 years of age, Ukrainian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk is enjoying a renaissance that began three years ago with the release of his album Corollaries. Drawing on minimalism and Eastern philosophy, he brings his astonishing “continuous piano” technique to Leeds on 24 February.
Fine baritone, fearless performer and Opera North favourite, Christopher Purves returns to the Howard Assembly Room for the first time since 2010, accompanied by Simon Lepper for a programme of Mussorgsky, Schubert, Handel and Finzi exploiting his formidable range and dramatic power.
Long term collaborators Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe draw out the orchestral qualities of the piano to the full in a joy-filled programme of Classical and Late Romantic music, played by four hands on one keyboard on 23 March.
Orchestra Baobab. Credit Youri Lenquette
David Lynch, from The Factory Photographs
Douglas - Ribot - Ibarra