GRAMMY-nominated ensemble to perform special Feb. 14 concert

Doug Osborne-Coy
members of the Imani Winds

The Imani Winds are (from left) Mark Dover, Brandon Patrick George, Monica Ellis, Jeff Scott and Toyin Spellman-Diaz. 

Since its formation 20 years ago, Imani Winds has led both the revolution and the evolution of the wind quintet through dynamic playing, adventurous programming, imaginative collaborations and outreach endeavors that have inspired audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

The GRAMMY-nominated ensemble is “devoutly committed to expanding the wind quintet repertoire by commissioning music from new voices that reflect historical events and the times in which we currently live.”

Imani Winds performs on Friday, Feb. 14 in Rosch Recital Hall at in a special concert event presented by Rockefeller Arts Center and the School of Music with support from the Carnahan Jackson Humanities Fund of the Fredonia College Foundation. The event is part of the 2019-20 Lake Shore Savings Season.

Tickets are available through the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 673-3501 and online.

The concert will include a collaboration with the Fredonia Wind Quintet comprised School of Music faculty members Barry Crawford (flute), Sarah Hamilton (oboe), Andrew Seigel (clarinet), Marc Guy (horn) and Laura Koepke (bassoon). The two quintets will perform “Mawu,” which is the third movement the suite “Sacred Women” by Jeff Scott.

Imani Winds has released six albums on Koch International Classics and E1 Music, including their 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.

The ensemble is regularly heard on all media platforms including NPR, American Public Media, the BBC, SiriusXM, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Imani Winds is comprised of clarinetist Mark Dover, bassoonist Monica Ellis, flutist Brandon Patrick George, French hornist Jeff Scott and oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz.

The ensemble regularly performs in prominent international concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Their festival performances include Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, Chautauqua, Banff Centre and Angel Fire.

Imani Winds has collaborated with saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter, woodwind artist and composer Paquito D’Rivera and pianist and composer Jason Moran.

In 2016, Imani Winds received what the ensemble considers its greatest accolade in its 20 years of music 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.

Imani Winds’ commitment to education runs deep. The group participates in residencies throughout the U.S., giving performances and master classes to thousands of students each year. They will present a free master class at Fredonia on Saturday, Feb. 15 beginning at 11:30 a.m. in King Concert Hall.

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Fredonia Fall String Festival slated for Sept. 26 and 27

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The Fredonia School of Music will host a virtual edition of its annual string festival on Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27, with Project: Music Heals Us (PMHU) Artists as special guests. The event is sponsored by the Carnahan Jackson Fund for the Humanities of the Fredonia College Foundation.