The Grammy-nominated Imani Winds lead the evolution of the wind quintet through their dynamic playing and adventurous programming, striving to push the classical repertory forward into inclusivity. Their Caramoor debut celebrates the diversity of four prominent, yet under-represented, female composers.
Talkback with Helga Davis / Stay for a conversation with Imani Winds immediately following the concert.
“Musicians have felt an increasing urgency over the past year to become engaged with issues of social justice. Imani Winds were already there well before most, having devoted themselves to giving a platform to marginalized voices since they started out in 1997.”
– Gramophone Magazine
A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE
Mongo Santamaría (arr. V. Coleman): Afro Blue
Nathalie Joachim: Seen
Reena Esmail: The Light is the Same
Valerie Coleman: Afro-Cuban Concerto
Brandon Patrick George, flute
Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe
Kevin Newton, french horn
Mark Dover, clarinet
Monica Ellis, bassoon
Celebrating over 20 years of music making, the twice Grammy-nominated Imani Winds has led both a revolution and the evolution of the wind quintet through their dynamic playing, adventurous programming, imaginative collaborations, and outreach endeavors that have inspired audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
The ensemble’s playlist embraces traditional chamber music repertoire, and as a 21st-century group, Imani Winds is devoutly committed to expanding the wind quintet repertoire by commissioning music from new voices that reflect historical events and the current times. For example, their repertoire includes a composition by Jessie Montgomery, inspired by Montgomery’s great-grandfather’s migration from the American south to the north; and socially conscious music by Andy Akiho, designed to be performed both on the concert stage and in front of immigrant detention centers throughout the country.
Imani Winds regularly performs in prominent international concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Hall, and the Kimmel Center, as well as in chamber music series and festivals far and wide. Their touring schedule has taken them throughout Asia, Brazil, Australia, England, New Zealand, and Europe.
Imani Winds’ commitment to education runs deep. The group participates in residencies throughout the U.S., giving performances and master classes to thousands of students each year. Academic and institutional residencies include the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Duke University, University of Chicago, Curtis Institute of Music, University of Michigan, Da Camera of Houston, and numerous others across the country.
Imani Winds has six albums on Koch International Classics and E1 Music, including their Grammy Award-nominated recording, The Classical Underground. They have also recorded for Naxos and Blue Note and released Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring on Warner Classics. Their most recent recording, Bruits, released in February 2021, has garnered the ensemble their second Grammy Award nomination.
Imani Winds is regularly featured on all media platforms including NPR, American Public Media, the BBC, SiriusXM, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
In 2016, Imani Winds received their greatest accolade in their two decades of music making: a permanent presence in the classical music section of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.
To learn more about Imani Winds, please visit their website.
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