Imani Uzuri

Photo credit: Petra Richterova

Rave reviews are pouring in for Imani Uzuri’s new album, The Gypsy Diaries, from Ebony to All About Jazz to Time Out New York. Carol Cooper of the Village Voice praises, “With a voice that would sound equally at home on an opera stage or a disco twelve-inch, Uzuri is a constant surprise on record, seamlessly combining jazz, classical, country and blues motifs into highly personalized compositions.”

Uzuri also recently composed and performed her orchestral premiere, Placeless, commissioned by Kaufman Music Center’s Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall in March 2016. She was also recently a featured soloist in John Cage’s Apartment House 1776 at the Avant Music Festival, where her “gorgeously chesty ruminations” were singled out by music critic Steve Smith in the New York Times.

Her critically acclaimed solo debut album, Her Holy Water: A Black Girl’s Rock Opera (2007), was heralded as “one of the best of the decade” ( Eclectic, “provocative and emotionally charged” (New York Post), the album features lush vocals, strings, and sultry orchestration, and “creates a dramatic musical narrative worthy of its lofty title” ( Cultural critic and Black Rock Coalition cofounder Greg Tate declared: “Put your hand where it hurts and this sound may heal you…there is no way you can hear such music and not be transformed.”

Uzuri has performed at numerous international venues and festivals, from Morocco to Moscow, including recent performances at Lincoln Center, Blue Note, Joe’s Pub, Festival Son d’Hiver, Central Park Summer Stage, The Kitchen, Winter Jazz Festival, Apollo Theater, Whitney Museum, and Museum of Modern Art in New York. She has collaborated with a diversity of noted artists across various artistic disciplines, including Herbie Hancock, Wangechi Mutu, Robert Ashley, Carrie Mae Weems, John Legend, Sanford Biggers, Peter Gabriel, and Vijay Iyer. Her recent television appearances include Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as a special guest performer with Talib Kweli, Hi-Tek, and The Roots; and as a feature in her own commercial for BET’s Black History Month campaign. Uzuri is currently composing a new musical, GIRL Shakes Lose Her Skin, inspired by the works of Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez.