As part of The Greene Space’s EMANCIPATION 150 series, WQXR recently presented an evening of performance and conversation honoring the African American experience in classical music. Among the artists who joined us were the Imani Winds, the New York-based wind quintet whose name comes from the Swahili word for “faith.”
Hornist Jeff Scott talked to host Terrance McKnight about the inspiration behind the quintet’s adventurous style.
“There weren’t many people writing [for wind quintet] in this vernacular: pure jazz inflections, looking back at periods like the 20s and 30s and 40s,” he said. “We’ve kind of become known for crossing over into different genres, adding jazz, adding Latin music, adding tango, adding Middle Eastern sounds into the wind quintet genre….We’re trying to infuse the music with the music we grew up listening to, the music we were most affected by.”
Below, watch the Imani Winds perform “Homage to Duke,” inspired by the music of Duke Ellington — a performance that happened to coincide that evening with the jazz legend’s birthday.