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Los Alamos Concert Association presents wind quintet

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By Special to the Monitor

The Musical Fireworks continue Feb. 23, when the Los Alamos Concert Association brings the Imani Winds, a wind quintet to Los Alamos. Imani Winds will present a master class at 11 a.m. at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos and a concert at 8 p.m. in Duane Smith Auditorium. A reception will follow the concert.Imani Winds, founded in 1997, is an American wind quintet based in New York. The quintet comprises flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, and bassoon, and is known for its adventurous programming. The group plays compositions ranging from Hindemith and Ravel to premiers by jazz luminaries Wayne Shorter and Paquito D’Rivera. Its repertoire includes newly composed works as well as compositions featuring African, Latin American and American influences. Two members of Imani Winds also write for the group, which is always searching for new material.Featuring five outstanding musicians of African-American and Latin Heritage, Imani Winds is an ensemble that pushes the boundaries of a traditional wind quintet. Imani, meaning faith in Swahili, is the embodiment of the ensemble’s mission: Bridging between European and world musical traditions, exploring repertoire from diverse cultural backgrounds and reflecting upon their rich experience as classical musicians.Imani Winds has appeared on radio programs including “Saint Paul Sunday,” NPR’s “Performance Today,” “News & Notes,” “The Bob Edwards Show” and “The World.” The group has released four CDs. “The Classical Underground, “released in January 2005, was nominated for a Grammy award in 2006. They have toured internationally with eminent saxophonist Steve Coleman and can be heard on his recording, “The Ascension to Light.” Imani Winds’ performance highlights include their New York debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as winners of the Artists International Annual Prize, concerts at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Chicago Symphony Musicians Residency Program, Ravinia Festival, Princeton University, Columbia University, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, Chautauqua Institution, St. Louis Premiere Performances, Savannah on Stage International Music Festival, Chamber Music America’s Rural Residency Program and the Fischoff Chamber Music Association. Their nationwide touring has taken them to nearly 20 states, including major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta, and a tour of Alaska, including concerts in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kodiak and Juneau.Two-time winner of the CMA/ASCAP Award for “Adventurous Programming,” Imani Winds was selected to become resident-artists of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in the 2003-2004 season. In 2003 the quintet received the Meet the Composer Commissioning Music/USA Award. In 2001, Imani Winds won the Concert Artist Guild competition and subsequently became the CAG’s first Educational Residency Ensemble in recognition of their outstanding educational mission and tremendous musical abilities.As part of their education outreach, and to share the fun of their tour, they are offering the free master class Saturday morning to members of the Los Alamos Community Winds and other area wind players from sixth grade to adult.The concert will open with “Ajubete Jepe Amo Mbae” by Brazilian composer Liduino Pitombeira, and will continue with the “Wind Quintet, Op. 10,” by Pavel Haas. “Contrabajissimo,” by Astor Piazzolla, arranged by group member Jeff Scott, will complete the first half. Following intermission, the group will perform “Memoria,” by Esa-Pekka Salonen, and the program will close with the Suite “Belle Epoque in Sud-Amerika,” written for them by Julio Medaglia.A reception in the Orchestra Room of Los Alamos High School will follow the concert.LACA is grateful to program partner Zia Credit Union for its financial support for this concert, and to the Lodgers’ Tax Fund, which also provides assistance. Partial support for the master class is provided by Santa Fe Music and Piano.Individual tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and students who hold a Chamber of Commerce Student Welcome Card may purchase tickets for half price. Children age 5-18 may attend at no charge but need a ticket. Children must be at least age 5 to attend the concert, and children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets may be obtained at CB Fox, Otowi Station Bookstore, and Nicholas Potter Bookseller in Santa Fe. For additional information telephone the Los Alamos Concert Association at 662-9000 or visit the LACA website at www.losalamosconcert.org.