Imani Uzuri

Composer, Vocalist, and Librettist, US

Imani Uzuri, raised in rural North Carolina, is an award-winning vocalist, composer, librettist, improviser and conceptual artist called “a postmodernist Bessie Smith" by The Village Voice. She composes, performs and creates interdisciplinary works including concerts, ritual performances, albums, sound installations and compositions for chamber ensembles, voice and theater (including experimental and musical theater). Uzuri recently finished her tenure as a Jerome Foundation Composer/Sound Artist Fellow in support of her international travel and research toward her forthcoming composing of a large music work celebrating the iconography of the Black Madonna which she is currently developing as a HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) Fellow. She was a 2018 commissioned composer for Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity where she presented the world premiere of her choral composition “Sustenance” with 31+ voices from around the world. Uzuri is a 2018 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works composer commissionee. The New York Times calls her work "stirring" and Time Out New York says “Uzuri never fails to mesmerize audiences with her narcotic blend...of ethereal sounds.”

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Imani Uzuri was in residence from May 20 to June 17, 2019 in partnership with the Jerome Foundation.

Imani Uzuri with Black Madonna Daurade, Notre Dame de la Daurade, Toulouse, France

Songs of Sanctuary for the Black Madonna

Former Jerome Foundation Composer/Sound Artist Fellow, Imani Uzuri continued researching for her work Songs of Sanctuary for the Black Madonna, a large multi-movement theatrical orchestral and choral work celebrating the iconography of the holy and controversial Black Madonna through the lens of Black feminine sacredness and sexuality. As a 2019 Composer in Residence at Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, Uzuri visited Black Madonna shrines in Marseilles and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, integrated her research from previous international Black Madonna sojourns and began developing the libretto and composing the score for her aformentioned large music work Songs of Sanctuary for the Black Madonna.