CULTIVATING CREATIVITY: Miri Ben-Ari takes Belleville by Quiet Storm

By Janet Jarrell/Quinte Arts Council

Grammy Award-winning classically-trained musician, producer and humanitarian, Miri Ben-Ari is coming to the Empire stage in Belleville.

Honoured by Michelle Obama and discovered by producer Wyclef Jean, her outstanding performance and production abilities led to many collaborations with musicians like Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Alicia Keys, to name just a few.

Originally from Israel, Ben-Ari notes she once heard an album by Charlie Parker and immediately fell in love with jazz.

“I felt that it was a very unique use of instrumental music, with a different language,” she said. “My soul was sold.”

She moved to the Big Apple to study jazz; New York is the “fusion of everything” exposing her to all sorts of music, from the soulful R&B to hip-hop.

Ben-Ari is purely an instrumentalist; historically a tough road to the top, so she found her own way. She has created her unique style of music called “a revolutionary fusion of classical, Hip-Hop soul and dance.” She has a fiery, powerful style appealing to a wide audience, and bridges the gap between music genres and generations. When Ben-Ari takes the stage, the violin is front and centre; it is her voice.

Ben-Ari brings much to the table which contributes to her range. Her single Quiet Storm is edgy; virtuoso violin mixed with a “hard hip-hop beat” and Symphony of Brotherhood, featuring Martin Luther King Jr, will inspire. In March 2011, Ben-Ari was invited to the White House by Michelle Obama as part of a Women’s History Month celebration, to perform the latter and to be honored as a “remarkable Woman.”

“Ben-Ari believes in giving back to the community and how important it is for women to have a strong voice,” stated publicist Tiffany Johnson. “She grew up in the Middle East where many women don’t have a voice at all and hence she believes that this leads to an unbalanced society.” She credits Ben-Ari for being a strong “believer that great diversity is fundamental to a balanced society” and through her music she advocates for communities to treat each other with respect and tolerance.

Ben-Ari will honour your appreciation of classical music, while reminding you that you are still young and very much alive. You have got to experience this to believe it; she shatters every stereotype known to music. There is an awe that comes over a crowd when they see her perform. Her classical violin is a show-stopper, then the crowd erupts when she switches to Hip Hop hits. Her music makes you feel like you can do anything; this energy that comes from inside – captivating, exciting and lifts you off your feet.

The music of Ben-Ari proves that the violin doesn’t necessarily need to be classical because when it comes to music, there are no boundaries. This is the most unique, powerful must-see event coming to the area this year. Miri Ben-Ari is unforgettable.

Ben-Ari is scheduled to perform at The Empire Theatre on March 10.