Featuring five outstanding musicians of African-American and Latin Heritage, Imani Winds joined forces in 1997
to create an ensemble that would push the boundaries of a traditional wind quintet. Imani, meaning faith in
Swahili, is the embodiment of the ensemble's mission: bridging between European and world musical traditions,
exploring repertoire from diverse cultural backgrounds and reflecting upon their rich experience as classical
musicians of color. Among other incredible accomplishments, the ensemble has toured internationally with eminent saxophonist Steve Coleman and can be heard on his recording "The Ascension to Light".
Imani Winds has a significant educational mission, and offers a wide array of residency programs for various settings, age groups and community outreach programs.
The opening piece, Umoja (Ki-Swahili for unity), is the signature piece of Imani Winds. VColeman's composition
contains elements of the African drum circle and embodies the unity of mind, heart and spirit that makes the piece
outstanding in the world of contemporary chamber music.
Imani Winds joins forces with world-renowned percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos on Wapango, an energetic
piece by the Cuban-born musician and composer Paquito D' Rivera. Listen for the way the bassoon anchors the
other players with the well-written and well-executed bass line.
Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos wrote the Quintette in Forme de Choros while living in Paris. It is based
on the improvisatory dance form called choros that Villa-Lobos returned to many times in his career. A typical
choros starts out slowly and gradually builds to a dramatic climax. This piece is a tour-de-force for the entire
I Will, the ballad by John Clark, was originally written for his own jazz ensemble. Clark, an outstanding jazz
French horn player, then rewrote I Will for the Aspen Wind Quintet. Traces of improvisation are still redolent in
this arrangement, and Imani Winds revels in the lush harmonies written to accompany the simple tune.
The arrangements of Little David Play on Your Harp and Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit evoke the sound of an
African-American church choir both in the writing and in the performance of the pieces. Of note in the traditional
spiritual Little David is the amusing dialog between the flute and oboe.
Quintette by Jean Francaix, a "standard" of the woodwind quintet repertoire, is riddled with the quirky sense of
humor for which, French composer, Francaix is famous. Observe the bright colors elicited by the virtuoso flute and
clarinet lines in the first and last movements, and make sure to enjoy the way Francaix manipulates the theme of
the third movement into several sparkling variations.
Milonga Sin Palabras, an Argentinean dance song without words, is written by Astor Piazolla. Piazolla, master
player of the bandolian (a small accordion), is a prolific composer whose tango music is played by ensembles all
over the world. Imani Winds' interpretation of this Milonga is both delicate and passionate.
In Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing, we hear the African-American National Anthem reinterpreted. The masterful
arrangement of VColeman develops the hitherto unexplored aspect of the anthem as a song of celebration as well
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3. Quintette En Forme De Choros
4. I Will
5. Little David Play On Your Harp
6. Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit
7. Quintette:andante Tranquilo-allegro Assai
8. Quintette: Presto-trio
9. Quintette: Tema-andante
10. Quintette: Tempo Di Marcia Francese
11. Milonga Sin Palabras
12. Lift Every Voice and Sing