Up and Coming: Miri Ben-Ari
by Winston "Stone" Ford
She's heard all over The College Dropout. She's worked with everyone from Janet Jackson to Jay-Z. She's an Apollo Legend. You've probably even seen her onstage with Kanye and wondered 'who is that chick slayin' that violin like that?'
She's Miri Ben-Ari and she'll be dropping her own cd, The Hip-Hop Violinist, August 23rd (that seems to be the date for now – these things are always subject to change).
While this is Miri's first hip-hop cd, she's no stranger to the recording studio, having found success with her jazz releases including Sahara and Song of the Promised Land. The Israeli-born prodigy has already established herself as a respected and formidable jazz musician (being associated with Wynton Marsalis, who did guest duties on her second album, how could she not be?). Recent years have found Miri gravitating to hip-hop and r&b.
Originally introduced to the hip-hop community by Wyclef Jean and Jay-Z, Miri has written, produced, and performed for the likes of Alicia Keys, Twista, Kanye West (she wrote, arranged, and performed all the strings on The College Dropout), and the list goes on. She's also put in some time with the folks over on the pop end of the spectrum, like Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez.
The Hip-Hop Violinist will feature collaborations from a bevy of artists, including West, Twista, Lil Mo, Fabolous, Scarface, and Anthony Hamilton. Oh yeah, and Fat Man Scoop. He's everywhere.