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 soul-jazz 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 project 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.
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 is a co-founder of the non-profit arts organization Colors & Song. Althea René conducts flute masterclasses and workshops with various universities and music-based organizations. 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.
Her plans for 2023 are substantial. Althea René is the first soul-jazz flutist ever featured on the prestigious Dave Koz Jazz Cruise which sails between Morocco, Spain, and Portugal. Among her many performances scheduled throughout the year, Althea René is hosting her Third Annual Colors & Song Jazz Fest on Saturday, October 14th. Althea René, saxophonist Jazmin Ghent, keyboardist Demetrius Nabors, and vocalist Erin Stevenson will deliver an amazing evening of music from a historic military airplane hangar in beautiful San Antonio, Texas.