Imani WindsOn Our Show: April 23, 2011
Birth Year: 1997 (group)
Origin: Various (US)
About Imani Winds:
Founded in 1997 by flutist and composer Valerie Coleman, Grammy Award-nominated Imani Winds also includes members Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboist; Jeff Scott, French hornist; and Monica Ellis, bassoonist. Mariam Adam, the clarinetist.
Imani Winds have performed at top venues around the nation including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Disney Hall and Kimmel Center. The group is frequently engaged by the premier chamber music series in Boston, San Francisco, Portland, Philadelphia and New York, and have also played virtually every major university performing arts series including those in Amherst, Ann Arbor, Austin, Seattle, Stanford and Urbana. Festivals appearances include Chamber Music Northwest, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society, Virginia Arts Festival, Bravo! Colorado and Ravinia Festival.
The ensemble is commissioning, premiering and touring ten new works for woodwind quintet written by established and emerging composers of diverse musical backgrounds from around the world. The Legacy Commissioning Project kicked off in 2008 with world premieres by Alvin Singleton and Roberto Sierra. Since then, projects have included Jason Moran’s “Cane” and Stefon Harris’ “Anatomy of a Box (A Sonic Painting in Wood, Metal and Wind).” The 2010-11 season highlights new works by Danilo Perez and Simon Shaheen. The group released its fifth album Terra Incognita, celebrating new works written for Imani Winds by Wayne Shorter, Jason Moran, and Paquito D’Rivera.
From Mendelssohn, Jean Françaix, György Ligeti, and Luciano Berio, to Astor Piazzolla, Elliott Carter and John Harbison; and to the unexpected ranks of Paquito D’Rivera and Wayne Shorter, Imani Winds actively seek to engage new music and new voices into the modern classical idiom. Imani members Coleman and Scott both regularly contribute compositions and arrangements to the ensemble’s expanding repertoire, bringing new sounds and textures to the traditional instrumentation.
Through commissions and performance the quintet regularly collaborates with artists ranging from Yo-Yo Ma to Wayne Shorter. The ensemble has also worked with luminaries such as bandoneonist Daniel Binelli, the Brubeck brothers, clarinetist David Shifrin, and pianists Gilbert Kalish and Shai Wosner. Their ambitious project, Josephine Baker: A Life of Le Jazz Hot! brought chanteuse René Marie with them to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and St. Louis, receiving wide acclaim and glowing reviews.
Their excellence and influences have been recognized with numerous awards including a 2006 Grammy Award nomination for the album The Classical Underground, the 2007 ASCAP Award, 2002 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, as well as the CMA/WQXR Award for their debut and self-released Umoja. At the 2001 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Imani Winds was selected as the first-ever Educational Residency Ensemble, in recognition of their tremendous musical abilities and innovative programming. The group participates in educational residencies throughout the U.S., giving master classes to thousands of students each year and launching the annual Chamber Music Institute, bringing together over 40 young instrumentalists for an intense week of music exploration.