How to Get Started in the Music Business by Althea Rene

How to Get Started In the Music Business:

I was born in Detroit, Michigan and came from a musical family. My Father (Dezie McCullers) was a part of the Funk Brother’s horn section with Motown and my two brothers are musicians as well. I am excited to be the first flute player to Hit # 1 on both the Billboard and Smooth Jazz charts with my most recent CD “In the Flow”. I spent much of my early career successfully meeting challenges and overcoming obstacles establishing my career while raising two boys as a single mother and working days as a Deputy Sheriff in Detroit courthouses. I have recorded five CD’s and have had three record deals. Presently I am signed with Trippin & Rhythm Records/Sony Records distribution Label.

Every year, Colleges & University programs prepare thousands of jazz musicians with hard earned diplomas. When these graduates hit the streets with high hopes many learn that the diploma doesn’t necessarily guarantee a successful beginning in the music industry. The dream was simple: To perform music one loves for attentive audiences in jazz clubs, concert halls, and festivals while earning a fair wage for their efforts. But once set loose from the nurturing college environment one can quickly experience a new reality. “The world doesn’t take kindly to jazz artists”. Even after years of “paying one’s dues” only a small percentage of jazz artists will eventually realize their “dreams”. Those that do are often referred to as “The Chosen Ones”. Commercial success results from a rare combination of talent, perseverance, good looks, personality, ambition, geography and an ability to skillfully navigate unpredictably changing public tastes.

Why so few “Chosen Ones”? Simple economics: People who want to play jazz actually outnumber those who enjoy it or pay to hear it. Consequently, in the microscopic jazz economy, there isn’t nearly enough to go around though competition for the crumbs is relentless and sometimes brutal. This simple financial reality underlies virtually all of the difficulties in sustaining a career as a jazz musician.

But when the jazz bug bites, it’s hard to shake. So it is very important to practice every day, perfecting your craft, because you never know when your big break will come and you need to be prepared. Remember that hard work, focus, and strong spiritual faith will help you to achieve your goals. Your goals and your music can redefine the state of jazz today!

Soul Jazz Flutist,
Althea René

I was born December 25th in Detroit, Michigan and I began my musicaljourney at age four as a classical flautist. I studied classical music while attending Howard University in Washington D.C. and later I gained further musical inspiration from the accomplishments of Yusef Lateef, lan Anderson, and my father, one of Motown’s original Funk Brothers, Dezie McCullers. ! have since developed my own creative style.

As a single mother I raised two boys. For more than 10 years I was also employed as a Deputy Sheriff for Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit). Today, I am a full-time performing/recording artist, regarded by many as a “master of my craft” and one of the world’s most exciting solo improvisational flautists.

May 2013, I released my fifth project “ln The Flow”. Collaborating with Grammy award winning producer Michael Broening; (producer for legendary icons George Benson, Marion Meadows, and Paul McCartney) we co-wrote the title track. That song became my hit single and it reached number one ranking on both the Billboard Chart and the Smooth Jazz Chart. Our partnership allowed me to become the first flute player in the history of Billboard Music Chart to reach the number one spot. My second single release “Sunday Cruise’ is ranked in the Billboard top 20.


2014 – Capital Jazz Cruise
2014 – Las Vegas City Lights Jazz and R&B Festival
2014 – Austin Jazz Festival
2014 – Jazz on the Hilltop
2014 – Brian Culbertson Napa Valley Jazz Getaway
2013 – Capital Jazz Festival
2013 – Low Country Jazz Festival
2013 – Jazz Fest West
2013 – Spring Breeze Jazz Cruise
2013 – Sea Breeze Jazz Festival
2013 – Chene Park Soul-Jazz Explosion
2012 – 2011 lnternational Dubai Jazz Festival
2012 – Spring Breeze Jazz Cruise
2012 – 20th Annual Las Vegas City of Lights Jazz Fest
2011 & 2009 – St. Lucia JazzExtravaganza
2011 & 2009 – Sea Breeze Jazz Festival
2011 – Berks Jazz Festival
2010 – Capital Jazz Festival
2010 – Capital Jazz Cruise
2009 – Norman Brown Smooth Jazz All-Star Cruise
2008 – Brian Culbertson’s Smooth Jazz All-Star Cruise
2007 – North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands
2007 – Russian River Jazz Festival
2007 – BET Studio Jams                   www.


In The Flow, Trippin’N Rhythm Music, 2013
No Restrictions, Red Cat Music Group/Bungalo Records/Universal Music Dist., 2008
In The Moment, Chocolate Caramel/Koch, 2006
Chocolate Rush, Chocolate Carmel Music, 2003
Flute Talk, lndependent Release, 2000