About Althea Rene
Flutist and bandleader Althea Rene is a dynamic, soulful performer with a bent toward contemporary jazz, funk, and instrumental R&B. A former police officer, Rene emerged on the Detroit scene in the 1990s before issuing her debut, Flute Talk, in 2000. She is a regular presence at festivals around the globe and has continued to build a crossover fan base with albums like 2006's In the Moment and 2013's In the Flow.
A native of Detroit and daughter of trumpeter, saxophonist, and longtime original Funk Brother Dezie McCullers, Rene grew up in a musical family. Encouraged to study music from a young age, she eventually enrolled in a classical music program at Howard University in Washington, D.C. However, while at Howard she discovered her love of jazz, and eventually returned to Detroit. She entered the police academy and spent the next 11 years balancing her time between working as a Wayne County deputy sheriff and honing her musical skills playing jazz in local clubs. In 2000, she released her independently produced debut album, Flute Talk. More albums followed as her career took off, including 2003's Chocolate Rush, 2006's In the Moment, and 2008's No Restrictions.
Along with her albums, she has made numerous festival appearances, including dates at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Austin Jazz Festival, Norman Brown All-Star Jazz Cruise, and others. In 2013, she signed with the Trippin 'n' Rhythm label for the Michael Broening-produced In the Flow. Buoyed by the singles "Sunday Cruise" and "Free," it peaked at number one on the Billboard smooth jazz chart. Two years later she delivered the concert album Live in Detroit, showcasing a well-received performance at the Detroit Public Library. In 2018, she published the book Becoming Chocolate Barbie: A Guide for Professional Women in the Music Business. The following year, she issued her eighth studio album Flawsome. ~ Matt Collar