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Grammy-Nominated Imani Winds to Perform Dec. 1

November 15, 2017

Diverse Woodwind Quintet Celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2017

Middlebury, VT—Long requested by Middlebury students, and extolled by the Washington Post as “exuding a sultry sophistication,” the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds are renowned for their dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, and adventurous collaborations. Their December 1 concert for the Middlebury Performing Arts Series, entitled “Classically Improvised,” will feature arrangements of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, a Piazzola tango, classical woodwind quintet repertoire, and more.

The Imani Winds will be first woodwind quintet on the Performing Arts Series since 1990. Series Director Allison Coyne Carroll reported that this quintet is the most requested by Middlebury students in her 18 years with the series, no doubt due to the ensemble’s reinvigoration of the woodwind quintet repertoire and their commitment to educational outreach. The group’s visit to Middlebury will include residency activities with Middlebury College students.

This concert is part of the Nelson Chamber Music Series, an important program within the Middlebury Performing Arts Series.


About the Ensemble

Since 1997, the Grammy-nominated wind quintet Imani Winds has taken a unique path carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world. With two member composers and a deep commitment to commissioning new work, the group is enriching the traditional wind quintet repertoire while meaningfully bridging American, European, African, and Latin American traditions. By performing works by diverse composers from Mendelssohn to Astor Piazzolla to Wayne Shorter and Stravinsky, Imani Winds seeks to engage new music and new voices into the modern classical idiom.

The group’s touring schedule has taken them across the globe. In the U.S., they have performed in the nation’s major concert venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and Disney Hall, to name a few. Their extensive international tours have included stops in China, Singapore, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout Europe.

The Imani Winds also maintain a strong commitment to educating the next generation of musicians. The ensemble launched its annual Chamber Music Festival in 2010, set on the campus of Mannes School of Music, to bring together young instrumentalists and composers from across North America and beyond for an intense exploration and performance of traditional and new chamber music compositions. The Imani Winds are currently University of Chicago’s Don Michael Randel Ensemble-in-Residence, collaborating deeply with students and the Hyde Park community, as well as giving world premieres on the “UC Presents” Series.

The group continues its Legacy Commissioning Project, commissioning and premiering new works for wind quintet written by a variety of composers of diverse musical backgrounds. Recent commissions include works by Vijay Iyer, Simon Shaheen, Jason Moran, Mohammed Fairouz, Frederic Rzewski, and Imani Winds’ member Jeff Scott. The current season will include premieres by Valerie Coleman, Reena Esmail, Nkeiru Okoye, Courtney Bryan, and Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Threadgill.

Imani Winds boasts eight commercial recordings, including their 2006 Grammy Award nominated recording “The Classical Underground” and “The Rite of Spring,” honored on the iTunes Best of 2013 list.


A quintet of skilled and spirited musicians…the spiky edges of the exuberance and artistic risk-taking that have characterized Imani Winds’ performances are being smoothed into a cool professional veneer.”Washington Post


Performance Details

The Imani Winds will perform on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 8:00 P.M. at the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts’ Robison Hall. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south, on the campus of Middlebury College. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Center for the Arts parking lot, in rows marked faculty/staff/visitors. Tickets are $28 for adults; $22 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, emeriti, and alumni; $10 for youth 18 and under (NEW youth ticket price!); and $6 for Middlebury College students, and are on sale at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or



Image caption: The Imani Winds will play at the Mahaney Center for the Arts December 1. Photo Matt Murphy

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax