Friday, August 07, 2020
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IMANI - Biography

A native of South Carolina, Imani, an artist educator, author and professional jazz /world vocalist, has been living in the Washington, DC area for over 25 years. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Journalism. Her vocal training includes the New England Conservatory, Berklee School of Music and Howard University. Her diverse talents have led to collaborations with many national and international musical ensembles, film and television projects. Most notably, Imaniís voice was featured on the musical soundtrack of the Emmy nominated film The Jane Goodall Biography and on many of the National Geographic Televisionís Explorer Series soundtracks.

Imani performs and conducts vocal workshops concentrating on traditional world music nationally, from the cultures of Asia, West and South Africa, South America and the Caribbean. She has conducted traditional World Music workshops for the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. She has performed traditional African music for the Smithsonian Institute, Smithsonianís Folklife Festival, and the World Music Institute. Imani has taught in the DC Public School system and in private schools as a traditional world music teacher.

In past years, she has received grants from both the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Artist-In-Education Program for the Maryland State Arts Council. Imani is an artist educator with The Kennedy Center, a consultant for the PDAE grant committee of Jacksonville, Florida,†and is on the artist roster with the Maryland State Arts Council and the United Arts Council of North Carolina.

Imani performs with her own world/beat jazz ensemble, for which she debuted her 1997 CD entitled COLLAGE, 2000 CD entitled BETWEEN HERE AND THERE and her newly released CD entitled CALLING YOU. As Susan K. Oetgen of the Latin American Folk Institute wrote, ďShe sings every song with her soul rooted firmly in it, and knows exactly what part of the journey it is."

Since 1989, she holds the distinction of being the first and only American who tours with the genuinely traditional Ghanaian ensemble Yacub Addy and ODADAA. She has had the honor of performing, touring, and recording with renowned artists, such as Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Stephon Harris, Wycliffe Gordan, Hilton Ruiz and Djimo Kouyate. Imani has written two children world music books entitled, Dhimiki and Iyipo Ayť with sing-a-long compact discs, which have received raved reviews from teachers, students, universities and libraries.

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