Althea René an impassioned flautist from Detroit, Michigan, has been known to mesmerize her audiences with her vivacious captivating performances. This unparalleled artist, born December 25, began her musical career at age four as a classical flautist. She was influenced by the rich talent in her family, among them her father Dezie McCullers, Sr., who performed with many Motown stars.
After years under the direction of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Clement Baron, she focused her attention to jazz and popular music. She studied classical music while attending Howard University in Washington D.C. and later she gained further musical inspiration from the accomplishments of Yusef Lateef and Hubert Laws and has since developed her own creative style. She has a performance history with sensational artists such as Najee, Art Porter, and Herbie Mann. Today, Ms. René is regarded among musicians and enthusiasts as one of the nations best jazz flautists. The independent release of her online CD, "Flute Talk", has launched her solo career with her own ensemble into the national jazz music market.
Althea René has performed in all of the most popular venues in Detroit. She has appeared on local Detroit television programs such as "The Lou Rawls UNCF Telethon" and a recent documentary detailing the history of jazz music in Detroit entitled "Positively Detroit". Her winning performance on the nationally syndicated television program "Showtime at the Apollo" earned her national acclaim. Althea's diverse credits also include the gospel play "First Lady" with Vickie Winans and Clifton Davis; and several local commercials including one for the Michigan Lottery. Among Althea's many concert appearances, she has been the featured attraction at the annual "Detroit Comerica TasteFest" and the "Montreux Jazz Festival". Ms. René can even be seen in the film "8 Mile" starring hip-hop sensation Eminem.
In June of 1997, Ms. René began touring with the all-female, internationally acclaimed, jazz band "Straight Ahead". Althea René is also featured on "Straight Ahead's" most recent CD entitled "City Cuts". The all-female quintet also makes a single guest appearance on Althea's 2002 CD release "Chocolate Rush".
Althea René's appearances include a recent performance at "The Syracuse Jazz Festival" where she was the opening act for the legendary jazz vocalist Al Jarreau. On September 1, 2000 Althea René was one of three featured solo instrumentalists for "The Detroit Ford International Jazz Fesitval's" live television broadcast on 62/CBS. In August of 1999 Althea René performed at the Indianapolis Black Expo in honor of recording artist and music producer Kenneth "Baby Face" Edmonds. In May of 1998 Althea René performed in beautiful Puerto Rico with vocalist Tony Bennett, percussionist Pete Escovedo, and his daughter, the lovely performing sensation, Sheila E. In February of 1998, Althea René was the opening act for the international jazz guitar phenomenon Earl Klugh. The sold-out concert audience listened with emotional intensity as Ms. René performed several songs from her CD "Flute Talk". In October of 1998 and December of 1999 Althea René received nationwide attention when she appeared on Black Entertainment Television's "Jazz Discovery". She shared her stylishly aggressive flute style and her trademark technique she likes to call "voice-box" or "flute singing" with thousands of delighted viewers and jazz enthusiasts. Her efforts earned winning scores from the panels of judges. One of the highlights of 1997 was her jazz pop single "You're the Best" which topped the local jazz charts.
Be on the lookout for Althea's newest CD production "Chocolate Rush". It is a compilation of contemporary high-energy jazz cuts and tranquil jazz standards; neatly meshed together to emphasize skill and soul. Althea showcases her "voice-box" technique by singing and screaming through her flute while she plays. It's very unique and funky and makes the CD sweet like hot cocoa. More information regarding Althea's music and her performances can be found on her Web site at www.AltheaRene.com.