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Miri Ben-Ari

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Miri Ben-Ari playing in a concert in Montreal, 2005.

Miri Ben-Ari is a hip-hop violinist. She was born in Israel in 1978 and was brought up in a small town near Tel Aviv. She was trained as a classical violinist. She was a prodigy and was praised by famous violinists like Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern.

At the age of 16 she took herself to the United States. She spoke no English at the time. In New York City, she met several musicians such as the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis who supported her. She became interested in contemporary R&B (Rhythm and Blues) and hip-hop. In January 2001 she appeared in the Carnegie Hall with the rapper Wyclef Jean. Later that year her TV performances on Showtime at the Apollo added to her fame. Her second jazz album, entitled Song of The Promised Land features the dance single Peace in the Middle East as well as two tracks together with Wynton Marsalis. She has now sold millions of records, and is known as “the hip-hop violinist”. This was the title of a record released in 2005 by Universal which includes the single “Sunshine to the Rain” featuring Scarface and Anthony Hamilton. In 2004 she toured world-wide with rapper Kanye West. She has a very personal sound which is a mixture of Classical, jazz, hip-hop, R&B and world music. She won her first Grammy award in 2005 for co-writing “Jesus Walks” which received a trophy for the “Best Rap Song” in 2005.