February is Black History Month, and UGA Presents marks the occasion with a performance by the diverse Imani Winds. They will perform “Black and Brown: Celebrating Composers of Color” Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Ramsey Concert Hall.
The twice Grammy-nominated ensemble’s program includes the engaging “Aires Tropicales” by Cuban jazz legend Paquito D’Rivera and “The Light is the Same,” a piece written for them by young Indian-American composer Reena Esmail.
Celebrating more than two decades of music making, the Imani Winds have led both a revolution and 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 are devoutly committed to expanding the wind quintet catalog by commissioning music from new voices that reflect historical events and the times in which we live.
The Imani Winds regularly perform 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. Festival performances include Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, Chautauqua, Banff Centre and Angel Fire.
Imani Winds’ travels through the jazz world are highlighted by their association with saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter 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 the University of Chicago.
In 2021, Imani Winds released their latest album, “Bruits,” on Bright Shiny Things Records, which received a 2022 Grammy nomination for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. Gramophone states, “the ensemble’s hot rapport churns with conviction throughout.”
The Imani Winds have 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 are regularly heard 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 one of their greatest accolades to date: 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.
Three ways to get tickets
- Purchase tickets online at pac.uga.edu.
- Call the Performing Arts Center box office at 706-542-4400, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Visit the UGA Performing Arts Center box office, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (five-minute parking is available in the drop off circle at the Performing Arts Center for purchasing or picking up tickets.)
Ticket buyers can create a series of three performances for 20% off. Single tickets begin at $25, and UGA student tickets are just $10. Parking is free.
To learn more about all UGA Performing Arts Center events, visit pac.uga.edu.