Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

“Imani” means “faith” in Swahili, which is required to believe that a wind quintet can successfully explore and present the links among European, African, and American music traditions.

Critics and fans agree, however, that Imani Winds pulls this off superbly. The group was featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” and Public Radio International’s “St. Paul Sunday Morning,”has been profiled by Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and appeared on the Classical Connections showcase program at Carnegie Hall, and won the Chamber Music America ASCAP Award for adventurous programming.

Imani Winds will perform a wide-ranging program 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, at the Williams Center for the Arts. The ensemble will present the wind quintet arrangements of Maurice Ravel’s exquisite Tombeau de Couperin, the quintet by American master John Harbison, and an array of Latin and African-American compositions by Hector Villa-Lobos, Astor Piazzolla, and Duke Ellington.

Tickets cost $18 for the public and may be purchased by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

The group’s stay in Easton will include a 2 p.m. program at March School in Easton and a 4 p.m. clinic with Lafayette wind musicians taught by Susan Charlton, director of chamber wind ensembles.

Imani Winds is comprised of Valerie Coleman, flute; Toyin Spellman, oboe; Mariam Adam, clarinet; Jeff Scott, horn; and Monica Ellis, bassoon. The ensemble has received resounding praise from critics:

“Imani Winds represents nothing less than the future of the once-quaint notion of the wind quintet.” – The Washington Post

“[Imani Winds] absolutely conquered extremely difficult new works by Luciano Berio and John Harbison. What was most impressive, though, about the group’s ensemble work was the way the members got into one another’s sounds, always blending, always making spontaneous hybrid instrumental colors. Imani savors boldness.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer (concert review)

“The playing glows with confidence, a spirit of freedom and the momentum of exciting music making. Go hear this exciting group of performers who create a unique sound world and offer a startlingly original musical flavor.” – Philadelphia Daily News.

“[It was] a performance that radiated vitality, joy and a feeling of fun.” – Cleveland Plain Dealer

In addition to the Williams Center concert, the group’s performances in the 2004-2005 season include its Canadian debut at Ottawa’s Christ Church Cathedral, a full recital in New York’s Alice Tully Hall with clarinetist/saxophonist/composer Paquito D’Rivera, sextets with pianist Gilbert Kalish at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a La Jolla Music Society appearance, a concert at Seattle’s Meany Hall, and a return to the Virginia Arts Festival.

Imani Winds was featured last month in showcases at two of the most well attended arts conferences in the country: the 17th Annual Midwest Arts Conference in Kansas City, Mo., and the 28th Annual Performing Arts Exchange in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Last season was the ensemble’s first in Chamber Music Society Two, a professional residency program of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Its activities included two concerts in the CMSLC’s family-oriented Meet the Music! series as well as a Double Exposure concert featuring music by three contemporary composers, including Imani member Coleman. The ensemble also was invited for the first time to the Virginia Arts Festival, where its residency week of performances and demonstrations was extremely popular. The group was immediately invited to return in 2005. The ensemble’s nationwide touring and residencies took it to nearly 20 states, with stops in major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Atlanta, and a four-city tour of Alaska.

Imani Winds participated in the 2003 Association of Performing Arts Presenters Young Performers Career Advancement Seminar and was showcased at Weill Concert Hall as part of the conference.

The nationally recognized Performance Series at Lafayette attracts more than 10,000 people each season. It has been cited for performing excellence by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, Chamber Music America, Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund, Pennsylvania Arts and Humanities Councils, and Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

The 2004-05 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by the F.M. Kirby Foundation; by provisions of the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Foundation, and Croasdale Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Categorized in: News and Features