Imani Winds is set to perform at the Albany Municipal Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17.
ALBANY — The world-renowned Imani Winds woodwind quintet is scheduled to appear to the general public at the Albany Municipal Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17. Earlier that day, the musical group will conduct a master class for ASU students, as well as for junior and senior high students from Dougherty and Lee counties.
The day of music is made possible by a $10,000 Challenge America Fast-Track grant to the ASU Lyceum Committed by the National Endowment for the Arts.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the citizens of Albany, young and old, to have an ensemble of this caliber in our city,” said Leroy Bynum Jr., dean for the College of Arts and Humanities at ASU and chair of the Lyceum Committee.
Speaking from New York City Friday, Valerie Coleman, flutist and founding member of Imani Winds, said she founded the group after she had earned a double major in performance and musical composition at Boston College and moved to New York City.
“I was like a telemarketer,” Coleman said, “just calling up the great musicians I knew and asking them if they would like to get together. We didn’t really get into it, though, until we had the name.”
When asked to define “chamber music,” Coleman called it’s an “intimate experience in music with two to fifteen members. She said that allowing the music to happen without a conductor “allows (the music) to happen in a more spontaneous way — a little like a jam session.”
Coleman said she was particularly excited the group has been able to continue and succeed for 15 years.
According to Coleman, although the titles of their music may be unfamiliar to some, the rhythms and flavors of the original tunes and those from other artists are varied and many may remind listeners of jazz or even certain kinds or popular music.
“We’re always looking for rhythms,” Coleman said. “A lot of our music is jazz-flavored. You might be thinking of Brazilian carnivals or Argentine tangos.”