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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.
Steven Garrison is a renown saxophonist in the DC Metropolitan area. Starting on his musical journey at the age of 7, he started off as a pianist, performing for several recitals, concerts, and church events. It was at the age of 10 that Steven was given the opportunity to play the saxophone. His music began forever changed from then on. At age 11, Steven began playing the saxophone and received private lessons under Roland Young. In addition, he was an active member of the school band. Under Young’s guidance Steven had started performing for various churches within the Maryland/DC Metropolitan Area as well as playing for both private and corporate engagements.
In July 2003, Steven met Christopher Nichols, who took him under his wing. By the age of 14, he formed his very first band and began playing in different venues and events. Through hard work and dedication, Steven became the drum major of his high school marching band, lead saxophonist in his school bands, winner of the Omega-Psi-Phi Fraternity International Talent Hunt, and the winner of the “Most Outstanding Jazz Soloist” award at both Hampton University and the Walt Disney Music Festival. Steven has had the opportunity to perform at different venues such as Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, B.B. Kings, Howard Theatre, and more.
In the summers of 2006 and 2007 Steve has traveled to Japan where he was afforded the opportunity share his music in the Tokyo area. He has also been given the opportunity to share the stage with artist such as Trouble Funk, Chuck Brown, Sugar Bear, Chrisette Michele, Bootsy
Collins, Gary Taylor, The Manhattans, Tank, KRS One, Anthony Hamilton, Javon Jackson, Sonny Fortune, Jimmy Owens, Hugh Maskela, and Bobby Watson. In September of 2011, Steven had the opportunity to perform for President Obama and the “First Family” at the Congressional Black Caucus. Steven performed for the 2014 Summer Spirit Festival, a major music festival held each year in Columbia, MD where he opened up for artists Raheem DeVaughn, Lauryn Hill, and Janelle Monae. In addition, Steven served as Regina Belle’s saxophonist for 2 years where he had the opportunity travel the world and perform in places such as Capetown, South Africa.
Currently, Steven holds a Bachelor Degree in Music from Bowie State University. Having already released his debut single, “All For You”, Steven is working on his debut album. Steven continues to share his passion for music by the way of teaching and performing throughout the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. In July 2017, Steven founded Steven Garrison Music, LLC which he uses to provide musical services such as performances, private lessons, composing, arranging, and master classes. Steven never forgets to put God first in his life for it is Him who has blessed Steven with this talent and ministry.