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Imani Winds Fired Up and Live on Classical 101

Nick Houser
Imani Winds performs tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Southern Theatre

The Classical 101 studio was chock full of Friday fun this morning when Imani Winds dropped by for a live conversation and performance.

The award-winning wind quintet is in Columbus to perform tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Southern Theatre in a concert of works by Villa-Lobos, Paquito D’Rivera, Rimsky-Korsakov, Gene Kavadlo and Imani Winds flutist/composer Valerie Coleman, presented by Chamber Music Columbus. Please join the musicians and me for a pre-concert conversation at the Southern Theatre tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Imani Winds was founded in 1997 when Coleman, then an undergraduate at Boston University, was wondering what she was going to do with her music degree after graduation. Here’s Coleman telling the remarkable story that made Imani Winds happen:

Since group’s founding, Imani Winds has been innovators in expanding the wind quintet repertoire with new works inspired by classical, jazz, Latino and African influences. Their adventuresome programming garnered them a CMA/ASCAP Award, and their concerts and recordings sizzle with hot sounds from around the world. This morning, Imani Winds gave us a taste of some of that spice with a smoking live performance of Freylekh from Gene Kavadlo’s arrangements of Klezmer Dances:


On their concert tomorrow evening, Imani Winds will perform Coleman’s Red Clay and Mississippi Delta, a work Coleman says was inspired by the “crazy antics” of her family and which she calls a “maelstrom of comedy” in a fun blend of classical music and jazz. Here’s Coleman talking about Red Clay and Mississippi Delta:


Intrigued? Here is Imani Winds performing Valerie Coleman’s Red Clay and Mississippi Delta at New York City’s Leonard NimoyThalia Symphony Space:


Our time with Imani Winds today on Classical 101 wrapped up when the group jammed on one of their signature works, Libertango by Astor Piazzolla, in an arrangement by Imani Winds hornist/composer Jeff Scott:


So, remind me -  who, exactly, says classical music can’t be fun?

Imani Winds performs tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Southern Theatre. Join me and the musicians for a pre-concert conversation at 7.

Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.