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Born on December 25th in Detroit, Michigan Althea René began her musical journey at the tender age of four years old. She studied classical music while attending Howard University. For more than 10 years she worked as a Wayne County Deputy Sheriff (in Detroit, Michigan) during the day and performed in jazz clubs at night. Today, she endorses renowned hand-sculpted Altus Flutes as a full-time performing and recording artist.
Althea René gained musical inspiration from her father Dezie McCullers (one of Motown’s original Funk Brothers). She has since developed her creative style. Some regard her as a “master of her craft” and one of the world’s most exciting solo improvisational flutists. The multiplatinum and Grammy-nominated saxophonist Najee playfully refers to her as the “Maceo of the flute”.
In May 2013, she released her hit CD titled “In the Flow”. Collaborating with Grammy award-winning producer Michael Broening, she co-wrote the title track that made history as the first flute featured single to be ranked “number one” on the Billboard and Smooth Jazz charts. This scorching hot single topped the charts for several weeks.
With a passionate mission to mentor women in the entertainment industry, Althea René authored an autobiography titled “Becoming Chocolate Barbie – a guide for professional women in the music business” in June 2018. The book was written in an interview format so that readers may easily use it as a reference resource. Everyone who aspires for a life in business can appreciate the insights that she shares.
Her plans for 2022 are substantial. Among her many performances scheduled throughout the year, Althea René is hosting her Second Annual South Central Jazz Fest on Saturday, October 15th. Althea René, saxophonist Marcus Anderson, and vocalist Tracey Hamlin will deliver an amazing evening of music from a historic military airplane hangar in beautiful San Antonio, Texas.
She will release a few recordings this year. “The Best of Soul-Jazz Flutist Althea René” features 16 of her most popular songs recorded between the years 2000 and 2013. It reflects her evolution as a writer and performer over 13 years. Althea René is also releasing a new project titled “Pastel Leather” in the third quarter. The theme of the project is a particular duality of human personalities and behaviors. Sometimes we are forced to exhibit a soft, polite, and forgiving demeanor while maintaining our mental and physical toughness from within. It features a powerful lineup of guest artists like vibe master Warren Wolf, trumpeter Lin Rountree, producer/writer Demetrius “Krayon” Nabors, and jazz fusion icon Jeff Lorber.
Althea René is the proud recipient of the 2021 Presidential Volunteer Service Award which honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities and encourages those around them to take action. She conducts flute masterclasses and workshops with various universities and music-based organizations. She is the co-founder of the non-profit arts organization Colors & Song. With a passion to educate, entertain, and inspire people with music and art, Colors & Song promotes academic excellence and social justice via a wide range of activities. The organization’s focus is to promote goodwill, civic, and social awareness in the community.