Joe’s Pub at The Public and The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit present Imani Uzuri’s Love Story: Songs of Laughter, Loss and Resilience, a concert of the composer’s original music, both her own independent material and work composed for the latter program’s fall 2016 production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The Mobile Unit continues The Public’s commitment to bring free Shakespeare to communities with limited or no access to the arts by taking plays on tour to correctional facilities, homeless shelters, social service organizations and more. Part of the Mobile Unit and Joe’s Pub’s collaborative series, In Transit, Uzuri’s show will tour, Monday-Friday, February 6-10, to community venues, and culminate with a show at Joe’s Pub on Saturday, February 18 at 7:30PM.
Recently praised in The New York Times for her "stirring" music and her "gorgeously chesty ruminations," Uzuri is a composer, musician and vocalist known for her multi-faceted, earthy and enveloping compositions. For the Mobile Unit’s production of Hamlet, director Patricia McGregor worked with Uzuri to use music to give texture and depth to the characters and scenes in the play. This collaboration was particularly poignant to Uzuri, who was a Park Avenue Armory Artist-in-Residence in 2015-2016, and maintains a close relationship with Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a women’s mental health shelter located at the Armory.
Imani Uzuri is a vocalist, composer and cultural worker who has been called "a post modernist Bessie Smith" by The Village Voice. She composes music that celebrate her rural North Carolina roots where she grew up singing Spirituals and line-singing hymns with her grandmother and extended family. Time Out New York said, "[Imani Uzuri] never fails to mesmerize audiences with her narcotic blend of…ethereal sounds.”
Called “stunning” by New York Magazine, her compositions for bands, choral ensembles, chamber orchestra, musical theater, theater and solo voice include influences from her travels around the world. Uzuri's most recent album, The Gypsy Diaries, draws on her roots as well as influences ranging from Sufi devotionals to Romany laments. The Village Voice said, “With a voice that would sound equally at home on an opera stage or a disco 12-inch, Imani Uzuri is a constant surprise...seamlessly combining jazz, classical, country and blues motifs into highly personalized compositions."
Uzuri composed and co-wrote lyrics for her new musical GIRL Shakes Loose, which was selected for the 2016 O’Neill National Music Theater Conference. She was a Park Avenue Armory Artist-In-Residence in 2015-2016 and was recently awarded a Map Fund to begin composing her contemporary opera Hush Arbor. In 2016, Uzuri made her Lincoln Center American Songbook debut as well as being a featured performer on BET for Black Girls Rock. Recently, she was composer for two Public Theater productions: Public Works’s Troy and the Mobile Unit’s Hamlet. She is currently a 2016-17 Jerome Foundation Composer/Sound Artist Fellow.