Imani Winds New Koch CD The Classical Underground + Major 27-city US tour begins Jan. 2005


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December 23, 2004

To: Listings/Critics/Features From: JAZZ PROMO SERVICES

Media Contact: James Scileppi (516) 484-1000 Ext. 243/ james.scileppi@kochent.com

Koch International Classics

Much anticipated breakthrough debut CD From Imani Winds - The Classical Underground Inspired by Jazz, Latin, and African influences

Major 27-city US tour begins Jan. 2005

Imani Winds is Valerie Coleman, flute; Toyin Spellman, oboe; Mariam Adam, clarinet; Jeff Scott, French horn; Monica Ellis, bassoon

You don't have to listen for very long to recognize that although Imani Winds is a classical ensemble, they are a quintet with many musical influences—including jazz, Latin, and African. It also doesn't take long to realize that there is something special about the group. The award-winning chamber ensemble has gained wide recognition for their commitment to expanding the boundaries of the traditional wind quintet. This sense of exploration and innovation is evident in their debut recording, The Classical Underground, available on KOCH International Classics in January 2005. The name imani, which means 'faith' in Swahili, embodies the ensemble's mission of exploring links between European, African, and American musical traditions. This young ensemble of African/Latin American heritage performs a culturally rich and diverse repertoire, reflecting their own diverse experiences. Imani Winds' tradition-bending programs have achieved great critical acclaim and an enthusiastic response by both long-time classical audiences and young audiences newer to the genre.

“As young Classical musicians—and we are Classical musicians—we don't claim to be jazz musicians or anything other than what we are," says Imani Wind's Monica Ellis, “the beauty of Imani Winds is the juxtaposition of our youth, culture, training and passion for innovation."

The Classical Underground is a collection of works that sample the range and depth of Imani’s musical interests. The ensemble interprets compositions by a diverse group of composers that include Argentine-born Astor Piazzolla, Cuban clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera and Lalo Schifrin.

Piazzolla's Liber Tango, arranged by Imani’s Jeff Scott, is this recording’s dynamic first work. Piazzolla has composed some of the twentieth century's most popular crossover repertoire, breaking ground that Imani continues to explore. Paquito D'Rivera’s Aires Tropicales is an important inclusion, as D’Rivera has been especially inspirational to the group. The final movement of this work, “Afro," is arranged by Scott and features jazz vocalist René Marie and percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos. La Nouvelle Orleans by composer Lalo Schifrin, paints a picture of old and modern New Orleans, which fits perfectly into Imani’s musical spectrum.

Compositions by Imani's own Valerie Coleman and Jeff Scott show off the ensemble as creators as well as interpreters. Steal Away by Valerie Coleman demonstrates Imani’s interest in atmospheric music through the exploration of this traditional spiritual. Concerto for Wind Quintet, also by Coleman, is evocative of an orchestral Afro-Cuban ensemble, using rhythms (such as the 6/8 clave) and ideas indicative of the genre. In her compositions, Coleman displays her broad and atypical vision, utilizing wind instruments in unusual and virtuosic ways.

The final piece on this disc draws inspiration from Duke Ellington's sacred music, one of his often-overlooked catalogues. Jeff Scott's Homage to Duke began life as an arrangement of Ellington's “Come Sunday," and is a study of the composer's methods and ideas.

In January, Imani Winds will kick off a major American tour in support of their new release. Tour highlights include an appearance at the La Jolla Music Society in January and a full recital in New York's Alice Tully Hall with clarinetist/ saxophonist/ composer Paquito D'Rivera in March 2005, as one of their Chamber Music Society events. Notable appearances will also include dates at Seattle's Meany Hall in May 2005, as well as their return to the Virginia Arts Festival, also in May.

Please direct all media requests (press kit, CDs, review tickets and interviews) to James Scileppi (516) 484-1000 Ext. 243 or email james.scileppi@kochent.com.



Date Venue City Jan. 30 La Jolla Music Society Lo Jolla, CA Feb. 2 World Theater @ California State University Seaside, CA Feb 5. Joe's Pub – Official Release Party New York, NY Feb. 11 Detroit Institute for the Arts Detroit, MI Feb. 13 Shadyside Presbyterian Church Pittsburgh, PA Feb. 17 Dalton Center Recital Hall Kalamazoo, MI March 1 Alice Tully Hall @ Lincoln Center New York, NY March 3 Strathmore Mansion Music Room North Bethesda, MD March 6 Krannert Center Urbana, IL March 10 Berea College Berea, KY March 11 Madisonville Community College Madisonville, KY March 15 DePauw University Greencastle, IN March 16 Indiana History Center Indianapolis, IN March 18 Northeastern Illinois University (Recital Hall) Chicago, IL March 20 Armor Hall Riverdale, NY April 15 Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA April 17 Beckman Auditorium Pasadena, CA April 20 Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts Cerritos, CA April 27 Reed College Kaul Auditorium Portland, OR May 3 Virginia Arts Festival Norfolk, VA May 25 Meany Hall for the Performing Arts Seattle, WA

Media Contact: James Scileppi (516) 484-1000 Ext. 243/ james.scileppi@kochent.com

For interview requests or more information contact .



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