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Multicultural Woodwind Ensemble Performs at Northwestern

The Grammy-nominated Imani Winds perform and hold a free master class Feb. 10 at Northwestern.

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January 31, 2007 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- When the Imani Winds take the stage Feb. 10 at Northwestern University, this Grammy-nominated quintet will present an inimitable mix of European, African, Latin American and American traditions. The group will hold a free master class at Northwestern the same day.

The concert and master class coincide with Northwestern University's celebration of Black History Month.

This creative ensemble will perform on the University's Evanston campus at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, in Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place, where it will entertain the audience with its eclectic program and impressive mix of musical talent. The free master class will be held at 11 a.m. that day at Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive.

Formed in 1997 by musicians Monica Ellis, Jeff Scott, Mariam Adam, Toyin Spellman-Diaz and Valerie Coleman, Imani -- meaning “faith” in Swahili -- explores the musical links between diverse cultures. The ensemble won the inaugural title of Educational Residency Ensemble at the 2001 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Focusing on young children in diverse classrooms, the Imani Winds travel to schools across the country to highlight the musical culture and heritage of the African Diaspora as well as Western classical music.

The quintet's 2006-07 season concert follows the group's successful national tour last season of the multi-media production of “Josephine Baker: A Life of Le Jazz Hot” that took them to cities that included New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The production celebrated the 100th birthday of the late St. Louis-born singer, dancer and freedom fighter.

In addition, the ensemble maintains a heavy concert and residency schedule, which will take them to cities across the country.

Imani Winds will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2008 with an ambitious new initiative titled the Legacy Commissioning Project. For more information on Imani Winds visit <http://www.imaniwinds.com/about.html>.

Concert tickets are $8.50 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students.

For tickets, call the Pick-Staiger box office at (847) 467-4000 or visit <www.pickstaiger.com>.