14:29 PM

New and Now: UHD Inaugurates Rhythm & Books Series


By Marie Jacinto

Yes, UHD is determined, dedicated, and downtown. We are also innovative, imaginative, and inspirational, and the groundbreaking Rhythm & Books series is the latest in what’s new at UHD.

Just when you thought that the W.I. Dykes Library was nothing more than a repository for books, now the library is literally setting the stage for UHD’s Rhythm & Books concerts—a series of intimate, live tapings featuring Texas-grown talent. The series kicks off at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the library as part of the ongoing celebration of UHD’s 50th anniversary.

Free and open to all, this inaugural event of the series will feature local vocalist Valen the Valentine. A live, video recording of her performance will take place in the 40,000 Windows Café within the library and will become available on UHD’s YouTube channel. UHD’s own Gator Groove will perform before Valen the Valentine’s concert.

Originally hailing from the Philippines, Valen will bring her own unique perspective to the Rhythm & Books stage. Her music reflects influences ranging from soul to contemporary R&B, and her soul-stirring voice and thought-provoking lyrics merge to tell powerful stories.

Predicated on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, Rhythm & Books daytime concert series is the brainchild of Spencer Lightsy, UHD Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. “With this series, our aim is to transform UHD’s library space into a dynamic stage (and recording studio) for talented musicians from across the state and share that experience with our students,” said Lightsy.

As UHD emerges as an anchor institution for the region, Rhythm & Books epitomizes UHD's commitment to the arts. “Our vision is that the library is not just a haven for reading great literature,” added Lightsy, “but also a haven for recording live music, creating an intersection for artistry and academia.”


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.