Man to bring his Grammy-nominated band to Norwich for homecoming concert

Danny Howard, who lived in Norfolk for 24 years, plays in Chicago's New Budapest Orpheum Society.

Danny Howard, who lived in Norfolk for 24 years, plays in Chicago's New Budapest Orpheum Society. - Credit: Archant

A Norwich man who moved to Chicago is returning to the city with his Grammy-nominated ensemble band.

Danny Howard, 44, was born in America to an English father, and lived in Norfolk from the age of 13.

He went to Broadland High School in Hoveton, then to City College Norwich before working for Norfolk Youth and Community Service.

Alongside this work he was a percussion teacher working in schools, and describes himself as a 'product of the youth orchestra performing at St Andrews Hall'.

He also played in local brass bands and was a founder member of an indie band called Twelfth Century Drawing Machine.

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When he moved back to America aged 37 he took this passion for music with him and started to play percussion in an ensemble called the New Budapest Orpheum Society, in residence at the University of Chicago.

They perform Jewish cabaret music from the 1880s to the 1960s and this year they were nominated for a Grammy award for best classical compendium.

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The ensemble draws upon a wide range of repertories, many forgotten, others preserved in European archives, all poignantly bearing witness to the great tradition of Jewish cabaret.

'We formed in part to bring back to life the music that was played in the 1880s by the Budapest Orpeheum Society who played in Vienna,' said Mr Howard.

The group has never performed in the UK before, but has played in Germany and Austria.

'I'm very much looking forward to playing back in the UK and Norwich in particular,' said Mr Howard. 'When we attended the Grammys earlier this year I thought about my musical upbringing playing in Norwich concert bands and orchestras. To be playing with this ensemble back home and a venue I know is a real honour.'

They have three albums out on a Chicago-based label called Cedille Records.

New Budapest Orpheum Society will perform at The Assembly Rooms in Norwich on Tuesday, June 21.

Tickets cost £15, to book call 01603 598688.

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