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Duke Arts Presents

Imani Winds & Cory Smythe, piano Revolutionary aka The Civil Rights Project

Sunday, September 12, 2021 | 7:00 pm

Baldwin Auditorium

After a yearlong postponement, the barrier-breaking, repertoire-expanding wind ensemble Imani Winds will return to Durham. This fall’s offering, Revolutionary aka The Civil Rights Project, thematically organizes several commissions from the past dozen years around the ongoing struggle for racial justice in America. Following an arrangement of Sam Cooke’s plaintive and pointed “A Change is Gonna Come,” we hear Frederic Rzewski’s “Sometimes,” commissioned by and premiered at Duke Performances in 2015 in celebration of the legacy of historian John Hope Franklin. Vijay Iyer’s “Bruits,” composed in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s 2012 killing, features pianist Cory Smythe and treats “the murderous consequences of the stand your ground law,” while Jason Moran’s “Cane” — a reference to his ancestral home near the Cane River in Louisiana — explores the impact of slavery within his family history. The evening rounds out with Imani co-founder Valerie Coleman’s “Bronzeville,” an invocation of three poems by Chicago literary legend Gwendolyn Brooks.


Sam Cooke, arr. John Clark: “A Change Is Gonna Come”
Frederic Rzewski: Sometimes
Vijay Iyer: Bruits (for Wind Quintet & Piano)
Jason Moran: Cane
Valerie Coleman: Bronzeville (for Wind Quintet & Piano)

Made possible, in part, with support from the Department of Music & the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts at Duke University.

Harbison - Quintet for Winds, 4th mvt

“The signature contribution of this group [is] a technical ease with extravagant gestures, intense production of sound, and the daring expressive liberties that come only after musicians have developed a sixth sense of ensemble-bonding. Imani’s got it all.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer