A look inside The Jazz Gallery


Photo by Yossi Michaeli

As a child in pastoral North Carolina, Imani Uzuri recalls, “I grew up running and playing in dirt fields, drinking water from the well, falling asleep while reading under pecan trees, dreaming…”

It’s hard to know exactly what Imani took away from all of the reverie; whether or not she foresaw her involvement in concerts, experimental theater, recordings, visual/performance art pieces and sound installations, or her collaborations with Herbie Hancock, John Legend, Vijay Iyer, Talib Kweli, Wangechi Mutu, Sanford Biggers, and Robert Ashley. However, it is clear that these early experiences, along with her travels around the world, have fueled her interest in sacred music and experimentation.

Imani self-released her critically acclaimed debut album, Her Holy Water: A Black Girl’s Rock Opera, in 2007. The video embedded below is for “Sun Moon Child,” a track which Imani says “came through” her while doing a “walking meditation in Northern California…the breeze was blowing, the sun was setting and I could see hills in the distance. A voice spoke to me and said, ‘I believe in your destiny.’”

On Thursday, Imani will preview works from her forthcoming LP, The Gypsy Diaries, which she describes as “a lyrical spiritual soundscape,” at The Jazz Gallery. There will be one set only at 9 p.m. Get your tickets here.

This is the second of three concerts in a row at The Jazz Gallery that Time Out New York has selected as a Critics’ Pick. They write:

Funky, elastic-voiced alt-soul diva Imani Uzuri previews pieces from her forthcoming album, The Gypsy Diaries, at the helm of an intimate acoustic combo with cellist Marika Hughes, guitarist Christian Ver Halen and flutist Kaoru Watanabe.

You can find out more about The Gypsy Diaries and support the project here.