Grammy Award-winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari returns to Washington on Saturday at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in "The Beautiful Sound Tour."
Noted for the unique sound she has created -- a brilliant fusion of classical performance with jazz, R&B and hip-hop -- this much sought-after musician has been named the current Beautiful Sound artist for Harman International Industries, a company of designers, manufacturers, and marketers of a wide range of audio infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets.
"I am so happy to be working with the company," said the Israeli-born artist. "Harman Kardon designs audio equipment where beauty and sound go hand in hand."
Ben-Ari knows a lot about both. She has, fueled by her own passion for music, complete mastery of her violin, having trained classically under the late master of violin Isaac Stern. From that springboard, she leapt to new musical forms and genres, collaborating with the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. Along the way, she has been given the moniker "The Hip-Hop Violinist," which happens to be the title of her new album on Universal Records. Her single, "Symphony of Brotherhood," featuring the "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King Jr., was the first instrumental ever to hit Billboard's R&B/Hip Hop charts, MTV and VH1.
|If you go|
|» Where: Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW|
|» When: 8 p.m. Saturday|
|» Info: $25; 800-745-3000; sixthandi.org|
Saturday's concert will include works from this latest release, as well from three of her previous jazz albums. She will have two singers backing her up, along with a DJ, whom she calls an instrumentalist "because he plays the turntable like an instrument."
Ben-Ari's performances are for every age group, and indeed, she encourages young people to experience all different types of music -- from classical to hip-hop. Perhaps this is why she has been the face of several promotional campaigns, including Reebok's "I Am What I Am" global print and TV advertisements.
Proceeds from Saturday's concert will benefit the University of the District of Columbia in its broad mission of education, research and community service.
For Ben-Ari, the work is all about love and giving back. She states unabashedly, "Music, for me, is a vehicle to spread love; it makes people happy, and that's love for me. Anything else is just nonsense."