Have you ever imagined what if J.S. Bach and John Coltrane might chance to meet? You can hear what that incredible musical collusion might have sounded like when the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds join forces with the Harlem Quartet for a program titled “Passion for Bach and Coltrane” on the final Green Guest Artist Concert of the season Saturday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. in DePauw University’s Kresge Auditorium.

The Imani Winds, DePauw School of Music’s 2017/18 ensemble-in-residence, has carved out a distinct presence in the music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, adventurous collaborations and inspirational outreach programs. The Harlem Quartet, whose 2013 album Hot House was recorded with jazz master Chick Corea and percussionist Gary Burton, is a multi-Grammy Award-winner.

As can be deduced from the enticing title, “Passion for Bach and Coltrane” speaks to the musical mastery of the prolific Baroque composer J.S. Bach and jazz genius John Coltrane. Written by Imani member-composer Jeff Scott for wind quintet, string quartet, jazz trio and orator, the concert-length new work also draws inspiration from A.B. Spellman’s book of poems Things I Must Have Known.

“I have long desired to set poetry to music and was particularly drawn to that of A.B. Spellman because of his strong references to both jazz and classical music as well as the question of faith,” wrote Scott. “The tradition of Passions or musical settings of the Gospel narratives dates to the Fourth Century. Bach wrote several though only two have survived.

“Here the premise of the Passion is explored rather than the actual Biblical accounts. Though the work is original, it is anchored by this poetry with reference to two significant works by Bach and Coltrane, The Goldberg Variations and A Love Supreme, works written at the pinnacle of their maturation.”

For this unique performance, listeners and performers alike are invited to entertain these seemingly polar opposites of the musical spectrum as equals.

Individual admission to the Green Guest Artist Concert series is $20; tickets for seniors, youth and all students are free. To obtain concert tickets online, visit the School’s website at music.depauw.edu. The venue’s box office is also open to assist patrons in person on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from noon to 4 p.m., and 90 minutes prior to each ticketed performance.

Chow Downtown
Before the Green Concert, join the Chow Downtown movement and longtime community partner Almost Home at the restaurant’s collaborative dinner on offer April 7 from 4:30–7 p.m. The pre-concert menu will include their famous Saturday night Prime Rib Special or Cedar Plank Fresh Salmon Dinner, served with choice of potato, chef’s vegetables, rolls and pecan butter. Bar features will also be available, as will a full menu of beers and wines. And, don’t forget to save room for one of the delicious house-made desserts! For dinner reservations at Almost Home, call 765-653-5788.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.