In her promotional materials, Imani Uzuri self-identifies as a “vocalist, composer and cultural worker.” From her 2008 self-produced rock opera Her Holy Water to her 2012 release The Gypsy Diaries, a more introspective effort inspired by her travels across the world, Uzuri has been interested in exploring different aspects of her personal lived experience and her heritage. More recently, the North Carolina-born vocalist curated a 4-day festival titled Sinners and Saints at the end of February, which explored African-American vernacular culture and their musical forms: ring shouts, spirituals, blues, gospel, line singing, and more.
Her new project Praise House closed that festival, and she has described the ensemble as an effort to explore “improvisation as an ecstatic tradition,” or, as the etymology of “ecstasy” suggests, improvisation as an art that carries one into an out-of-body experience. We hope that you’ll join us this Friday as Uzuri and Praise House share their explorations into African-American vernacular culture through music.
Imani Uzuri’s Praise House performs at The Jazz Gallery this Friday, May 2nd, 2014. The ensemble features Uzuri on vocals and tambourine, Darius Jones on saxophone, Marika Hughes on cello, Graham Haynes on cornet, Aruan Ortiz on piano, and Nasheet Waits on drums. Sets are at 9 and 11 p.m. $22 general admission and $10 for members. Purchase tickets here.