Imani Winds Performs at the Hartt School, 2/21

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Imani Winds Performs at the Hartt School, 2/21

The Hartt School presents one of the country's most innovative and successful chamber music ensembles - Imani Winds - on February 21, at 7:30 PM in Millard Auditorium, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford.

This globe-circling, genre-blurring quintet has seemingly collaborated with every significant musical figure of our time, from Wayne Shorter and Paquito D'Rivera to Yo-Yo Ma and Elliott Carter. Imani has performed in every important venue and series in North America, and this year makes it debut appearances in France, Brazil and China. The Washington Examiner says Imani Winds presents "... a soulful blend of classical, Latin, jazz, and world music..." and is "one of the most innovative and exciting ensembles to have emerged on the classical music scene..." To learn more about Imani Winds, visit imaniwinds.com. Special pre-concert dinners at the University of Hartford's 1877 Club precede each performance. Patrons may purchase concert and/or dinner tickets from University of Hartford Box Office in Lincoln Theater on the University of Hartford Campus at 860.768.4228 or 800.274.8587 or online at www.hartford.edu/hartt.

About Imani Winds: 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 traditions.

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. Festival appearances include Chamber Music Northwest, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society, Virginia Arts Festival, Bravo! Colorado, and Ravinia Festival. The current season features several international tours for Imani Winds, with debut appearances in France, China, and Brazil.

The group continues its Legacy Commissioning Project, in which the ensemble is commissioning, premiering, and touring 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 works by Jason Moran, Stefon Harris, Danilo Perez, and Simon Shaheen.

The group's fifth album on E1 Music - 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 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 seeks 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 René 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/PRI's 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 recording 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 launched its annual Chamber Music Festival. The program, set on the Juilliard campus, brings together young instrumentalists from across North America and beyond for an intense week of music exploration. Imani Winds has five releases on E1 Music, including their 2006 Grammy Award nominated recording entitled The Classical Underground.

The Hartt School is the comprehensive performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford that offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre. Founded in 1920, Hartt has been an integral part of the University of Hartford since its charter merged the then Hartt School of Music, the Hartford Art School, and Hillyer College to create the University in 1957. 2010 markEd Hartt's 90th year of providing world class performing arts education to students in Greater-Hartford and around the world. With more than 400 concerts, recitals, plays, master classes, dance performances, and musical theatre productions a year, performance is central to Hartt's curriculum. For more information about The Hartt School, visit www.hartford.edu/hartt.

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