Shriver Hall Concert Series: Imani Winds
Brandon Patrick George, flute
Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe
Mark Dover, clarinet
Kevin Newton, French horn
Monica Ellis, bassoon
Celebrating over two decades 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 times in which we currently live.
Present and future season performances include a Jessie Montgomery composition inspired by her 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. Their touring schedule has taken them throughout the Asian continent, Brazil, Australia, England, New Zealand and across Europe.
Their national and international presence includes performances at chamber music series in Boston, New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Philadelphia and Houston. Festival performances include Chamber Music Northwest, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Chautauqua, Banff Centre and Music from Angel Fire.
Imani Winds’ travels through the jazz world are highlighted by their association with saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter, woodwind artist and composer Paquito D’Rivera and pianist and composer Jason Moran. Their ambitious project, Josephine Baker: A Life of Le Jazz Hot! featured chanteuse René Marie in performances that brought the house down in New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and St. Louis.
Imani Winds’ commitment to education runs deep. In 2021 Imani Winds joined the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music, where they serve as the school’s first ever Faculty Wind Quintet. Imani Winds has also served as Resident Artists at Mannes School of Music, and as Ensemble-in-Residence at University of Chicago. The group participates in other residencies throughout the U.S., giving performances and master classes to thousands of students each year. Academic and institutional residencies include Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Duke University, University of Michigan, University of Texas at Austin, Da Camera of Houston, and numerous others across the country. The ensemble launched its annual Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival in 2010, bringing together young instrumentalists and composers from across North America and abroad for exploration and performance of the standard repertoire and newly composed chamber music. Festival participants also take part in workshops devoted to entrepreneurial and outreach opportunities, with the goal of creating the complete musician and global citizen.
In 2021, Imani Winds released their latest album, Bruits on Bright Shiny Things Records which received a 2022 Grammy Award nomination for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. Gramophone states, the ensemble’s hot rapport churns with conviction throughout .
Imani Winds has six albums on Koch International Classics and E1 Music, including their 2006 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. 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.
The group’s website is imaniwinds.com.