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Imani Winds pose with their instruments; Alex Shaw plays the berimbau


Concert Archive

LiveConnections Presents: Imani Winds + Alex Shaw

Friday, May 3

World Cafe Live: 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

$25 general admission
$20 student with ID
(prices include service fees)

LiveConnections brings you the best of our “musical match-making” through an extraordinary artist pairing.

The Grammy-nominated quintet Imani Winds has created a distinct presence in the classical music world through their dynamic playing, culturally relevant programming and virtuosic collaborations.

Alex Shaw is a Philadelphia-based percussionist, vocalist, composer and arts educator (and a LiveConnections teaching artist since our founding nearly 11 years ago), specializing in Brazilian music traditions.

Together these musicians will take you on a journey through Brazilian and Latin American music, with works by Pixinguinha, Villa-Lobos and more.

About the Artists

Since 1997 Imani Winds, the Grammy-nominated wind quintet, has taken a unique path carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, adventurous collaborations, and inspirational outreach programs. With two member composers and a deep commitment to commissioning new work, the group is enriching the traditional wind quintet repertoire while meaningfully bridging American, European, African and Latin American traditions. From Mendelssohn to Astor Piazzolla to Wayne Shorter and Stravinsky, Imani Winds seeks to engage new music and new voices into the modern classical idiom. Starting in the fall of 2016 through 2018, Imani Winds has been appointed as the University of Chicago’s Don Michael Randel Ensemble-in-Residence. The group has performed in the nation’s major concert venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Disney Hall, to name a few. In recent seasons, the group has traveled extensively internationally, with tours in China, Singapore, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe. Imani Winds has five releases on E1 Music, including their 2006 Grammy Award nominated recording entitled “The Classical Underground.” They have also recorded for Naxos and Blue Note and released “The Rite of Spring” on Warner Classics which was on iTunes Best of 2013 list. Their 8th commercial recording “Startin’ Sumthin’” was released in the fall of 2016. Learn more at imaniwinds.com.

Alex Shaw is a percussionist, composer, curator, and arts educator specializing in Brazilian music traditions. Alex directed the 11-piece Brazilian ensemble, Alô Brasil, and was a lead member of Philadelphia’s award-winning Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra for 14 years. He has accompanied numerous professional and collegiate dance companies, has held faculty positions at University of the Arts, Swarthmore College, and Temple University, and has taught and performed at hundreds of schools, organizations, and institutions throughout the mid-Atlantic region. His current artistic interests are focused on intercultural and interdisciplinary collaborations, sound installations, and composing for film, dance, and theater productions. Alex is the Artistic Director for Intercultural Journeys and has served as a teaching artist and board member for LiveConnections since 2008. He is the recipient of Arts International’s Artist Exploration Fund (2004), the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts (2007), the Emerging Legacy Award at the UPenn MLK Commemorative Symposium for Social Justice (2012), and Rutgers Future Scholars Service Award (2016). Alex holds a BA from Swarthmore College and an MFA from the World Percussion program at California Institute of the Arts.


We aim to create a welcoming concert experience for all guests. World Cafe Live is ADA accessible, with an elevator and handicap accessible restrooms on all floors. Our concerts are seated events with tables and chairs that can easily be moved/arranged for wheelchairs or mobility devices. ASL interpretation will be available. Audio description and/or large print programs may be available upon request; please inquire at least 2 weeks in advance. Although we encourage an atmosphere of quiet listening out of respect for the artists, we understand that some guests may need to vocalize or move. Generally, our concerts do not contain sudden loud noises or flashing lights. We invite guests to bring their aides to events free of charge. Please contact us in advance so that we can accommodate any special needs.


Doors open one hour before showtime. Show is UPSTAIRS at World Cafe Live, with table seating and dinner service available. Tickets are for general admission. Food and drink are sold separately. Tickets are sold through World Cafe Live’s box office and are subject to their ticketing policies and service fees. Please contact World Cafe Live directly for table reservations.

Press Release