Brad Mehldau: Jazz Master is Venue's Latest Star Name

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Friday June 04, 2010

Brad Mehldau: Jazz master is venue’s latest star name
Yorkshire Post
Published 6/4/10

When Howard Assembly Rooms first opened, it promised to bring an eclectic range of musicians to Yorkshire. Eighteen months on, says Tina Jackson, the venue’s been true to its word.

Imagine being Brad Mehldau. You’re an American jazz pianist at the absolute top of your tree. Your 2010 itinerary allows for a trio of venues in the UK. So, where? Wigmore Hall, on London’s South Bank. Tick. Manchester’s prestigious Royal Northern College of Music. Tick. And‘┬ŽLeeds. Howard Assembly Room.

Mehldau’s sold-out appearance there on Saturday night proves that, 18 months after opening, Howard Assembly Room now has the pulling power to attract the very highest calibre artists not just from the classical world, but from an eclectic range of musical art forms. Since its beginnings last year, HAR has consistently delivered some of the most celebrated names working at the cutting edges of contemporary, classical and experimental music and arts, from cabaret noir stars The Tiger Lillies and Mercury-nominated jazz quartet Polar Bear, to Leeds’s own anarcho-popsters Chumbawamba. Writers Tariq Ali and Orlando Figes have appeared, and this winter’s haunting Forty Part Motet sound installation by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller drew more than 5,200 visitors. Tenor Mark Padmore; leading light of the Brit folk scene Vashti Bunyan; pianist Joanna Macgregor and the soaring voices of The Tallis Singers, each one outstanding in their field, have performed. Mehldau fits perfectly in the mix.

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