More On The Seasons Festival

The next night (see the following exhibit) in their own concert, the Imani Winds drewimani-winds.jpg upon music from their CD The Classical Underground. They began with the late Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango, a brief example of the heterodoxy with which Piazzolla shocked and outraged the Argentine tango establishment and ultimately endeared himself to music lovers everywhere. The Imani French horn player, Jeff Scott, arranged the piece to feature his instrument’s dramatic, even explosive, qualities. From a different branch of Latin music, the woodwind quintet continued with composer Paquito D’Rivera’s Aires Tropicales, a seven-part suite illuminated by the insinuating movement called “Dizzyness” (after D’Rivera’s former boss Dizzy Gillespie) and the magnetic harmonies of a joropo, “Vals Venezolano.”
To these ears, predisposed by years of living in New Orleans, the evening’s highlight was a short piece by another composer seasoned under the tutelage and leadership of Gillespie. It was Lalo Schifrin’s La Nouvelle Orleans, a seven-minute sketch that combines Schifrin’s classical and jazz sensibilities to encapsulate the sadness and liberating joy of a traditional New Orleans funeral procession. The Imanis, virtuosos all, captured both aspects as if they had often experienced the emotions of that march to and from the cemetery. Torin Spellman-Diaz, the oboist in the group photo above, was James Roe.jpgunable to be in Yakima. Her substitute, able and fully engaged, was James Roe (pictured), a stalwart of the New York chamber music milieu. To see bios and more photos of the regular members of the group, go here.
More about the festival is on the way, maybe later today.

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