Miri Ben-Ari (born 1978), a Grammy Award Winner Violinist, originally from Israel. Her unique strings sound has revolutionized music by fusing classical, jazz, R&B and hip hop, creating a sound all her own.
Miri Ben-Ari grew up in Israel, studying and playing classical music. She participated in master classes with famous violinists such as Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern. It was Isaac Stern who recognized her talent at age 14 and recommended her for a scholarship to the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.
During her mandatory military service in Israel, she was chosen to play with the prestigious Israeli Army String Quartet. While in service, she became intrigued with the music of Charlie Parker and other American Jazz greats and decided to come to the United States to study jazz. Miri moved from Israel to New York to pursue her dream of Jazz studies. She was homeless. She joined “the New School” college for 2 semesters in Jazz as a major. She worked very hard to support herself and therefore could not make all of her classes. The New School decided to fail the talented young student in music for “lack of attendance.” As a result Miri lost her scholarship and had to drop out of college.
Collaborating with Grammy award winning artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, Wynton Marsalis, Britney Spears, Maroon 5, Patti Labelle, Brandy, Donna Summer, Janet Jackson and John Legend, this classically trained musician has helped selling millions of records, being recognized as a pioneer.
Miri Ben-Ari who once studied under the late classical master Isaac Stern is today an “Apollo Legend”, also known as “The Hip Hop Violinist”(Universal Records). She has been recently the voice of “I Am What I Am” Reebok’s global print and TV advertising campaign, Pepsi and Coca Cola commercials and the voice of VH1 save the music, promoting live music and music education across the US. She is currently working on a new humanitarian and educational campaign “Gedenk” (remember) dedicated to the Jewish Holocaust.
Miri is the featured violinist and writer for Paramount fall 2007 film: “The Freedom Writers” starring actress Hilary Swank, she is one of “Jewish Women International’s 10 Women To Watch of 2007” and won the JVIBE ward for the 2007 Best Israeli Artist. Her single "Symphony of Brotherhood" is the first Instrumental single ever to hit on the R&B/ Hip Hop charts, MTV and VH1.
In 2007, Miri Ben-Ari has appeared on Sesame Street, Aventura’s “Sold Out at Madison Square Garden” concert and album, at Lincoln Center for “VH1 Save The music Gala”, at Radio City Hall "Fashion Rocks" and “The Dream Concert” along side with Jennifer Lopaz, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Usher, John Mayer, Marry J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Garth Brooks and Carlos Santana among others. Miri Ben-Ari has been performing for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as a part of the 2008 presidential campaign.
Her most recent album, The Hip-Hop Violinist, was released on September 20, 2005.
Sources: Wikipedia, Miri Ben-Ari Official Website