Since 1997 Imani Winds, the Grammy-nominated wind quintet, has taken a unique path carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, adventurous 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 American, European, African and Latin American traditions.
From Mendelssohn to Astor Piazzolla to Wayne Shorter and Stravinsky, Imani Winds seeks to engage new music and new voices into the modern classical idiom. Group members Valerie Coleman and Jeff Scott both regularly contribute compositions and arrangements to the ensemble’s expanding repertoire.
Imani Winds’ touring schedule has taken them across the globe. At home, the group has performed in the nation’s major concert venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Disney Hall, to name a few. In recent seasons, the group has traveled extensively internationally, with tours in China, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and throughout Europe.
The group continues its Legacy Commissioning Project, in which the ensemble commissions and premieres new works for wind quintet written by a variety of composers of diverse musical backgrounds. Recent commissions include works by Vijay Iyer, Simon Shaheen, Jason Moran, Mohammed Fairousz, Frederic Rzewski. 2016 – 2018 will include premieres by Reena Esmail, Nkeiru Okoye, Courtney Bryan and Pulitzer prize winner Henry Threadgill.
In the summer of 2010 the ensemble launched its annual Chamber Music Festival. The program, set on the campus of Mannes School of Music, brings together young instrumentalists and composers from across North America and beyond for an intense exploration and performance of traditional and new chamber music compositions. In addition to the musicians of Imani Winds the Festival brings in some of the most important names of the chamber music world including Tania Leon, Paula Robeson and Paquito D'Rivera.
Imani Winds have five releases on E1 Music. They have also recorded for Naxos, Blue Note, and EMI. Starting in the Fall of 2016 through 2018, the group will be the Don Michael Randel Ensemble-in-Residence at University of Chicago's Department of Music. This multi-faceted residency will include in-depth collaborations with wind students, the chamber music department, composition majors and the Hyde Park community and will also feature world premieres on the "UC Presents" Series, the presenting arm of the University.