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Imani Winds: Bio


More than North America's premier wind quintet, Imani Winds has established itself as one of the most successful chamber music ensembles in the United States. Since 1997, the Grammy nominated quintet has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, genre-blurring collaborations, and inspirational outreach programs. With two member composers and a deep commitment to commissioning new work, the group is enriching the traditional wind quintet repertoire while meaningfully bridging European, American, African and Latin American tradition

Imani Winds' extensive touring schedule has brought them to most of this country's major concert venues 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, Urbana and countless others. Festivals include Chamber Music Northwest, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society, Virginia Arts Festival, Bravo! Colorado and Ravinia Festival.

The group is in the midst of its Legacy Commissioning Project, an ambitious five-year endeavor launching Imani Winds into its second decade of music making. The ensemble is commissioning, premiering and touring ten new works for woodwind quintet written by established and emerging composers of diverse musical backgrounds. The select composers originate from different points of the globe bringing a wide range of sounds and experiences. The Legacy 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 will highlight new works by Danilo Perez and Simon Shaheen. And kicking off the season, the group releases its fifth album on E1 Music. The recording - entitled Terra Incognita after Wayne Shorter's piece written for the group - is a celebration of the Legacy project with new works written for Imani Winds by Mr. Shorter, Jason Moran, and Paquito D'Rivera.

The wide range of programs offered by Imani Winds demonstrates their mission to expand the repertoire and diversify new music sources. From Mendelssohn, Jean Franaix, Gyorgy 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 Valerie Coleman and Jeff 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. Shorter's Terra Incognita - his first-ever composition for another ensemble - was premiered by Imani Winds. The group went on to perform extensively with Shorter at major European festivals such as the North Sea Jazz Festival, and in North America at venues such as Carnegie and Disney halls. The group's Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center residency culminated in a recital in New York's Alice Tully Hall with renowned clarinetist/saxophonist/composer Paquito D'Rivera. 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 Rene Marie with them to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and St. Louis, receiving wide acclaim and glowing reviews.

Imani Winds enjoy frequent national exposure in all forms of media, including two features on NPR's All Things Considered, appearances on APM's Saint Paul Sunday, NPR's Performance Today and News and Notes with Ed Gordon, BBC The World, as well as frequent coverage in major music magazines and newspapers including the New York Times and
Wall Street Journal.

Their excellence and influences have been recognized with numerous awards including the 2007 ASCAP Award, 2002 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, as well as the CMA/WQXR Award for their debut and self-released CD 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.

Imani Winds' commitment to education runs deep. The group participates in residencies throughout the U.S., giving master classes to thousands of students a year. In the summer of 2010 the ensemble launches its annual Chamber Music Institute. The program, set on the Juilliard campus, will bring together over 40 young instrumentalists for an intense week of music exploration.

Imani Winds have four releases on E1 Music, including their 2006 Grammy Award nominated recording entitled The Classical Underground. The highly anticipated fifth release, Terra Incognita, is scheduled for release on August 24, 2010.

1 Bring a Torch  
2 Jingle Bells  
3 Sleigh Ride  
4 Silent Night  
5 I Saw Three Ships  
6 The Holly and the Ivy  
7 Christmas Time Is Here  
8 Carol of the Bells  
9 Let It Snow  
10 The Christmas Song  
11 O Holy Night  
12 Go Tell It on the Mountain  
13 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas  
14 This Christmas  
This Christmas by Imani Winds
Imani Winds performs Astor Piazzolla's Libertango
Imani Winds performs Valerie Coleman's Umoja
Cane: II Coin Coin's Narrative

'Tis the season to add some rhythm to your holiday music collection! Koch International Classics is pleased to announce the release of This Christmas, by the Grammy-nominated woodwind quintet: Imani Winds. This is not a sit-by-the-fireside holiday CD, as the Imani's have assembled a toe-tapping collection of thirteen yuletide favorites, with an all-star cast. From traditional treatments of Sleigh Ride and The Holly and the Ivy, to gospel-tinged arrangements of Go Tell It on the Mountain and Silent Night, This Christmas with Imani Winds is filled with the spirit and elegance that defines the holidays.

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