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Renee Benmeleh

Renee Benmeleh

Living in: Richmond, United States.

Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, and born into Moroccan/Sephardic, Greek, and Turkish ancestry, my early verbal and musical exposure created the imprint for a life-long yearning to sing the music of my roots and explore the many rich musical traditions that have touched my heart.

Since beginning my love affair with singing over 20 years ago, I have found a heartfelt and culturally diverse sound that has been enjoyed at concerts, rituals, weddings, parties and other events in the San Francisco Bay Area. Drawing from a multi-lingual/cultural background, it is my passion to take you on a journey to the far reaches of the earth, tasting and savoring the flavors of these musical stories that enliven hearts!

I am in love with the diverse, rich traditions of North and West Africa, Brazil, First Nations, Jazz, and Latin America, in addition to American Popular music. My offerings include vocals in over 7 languages from around the world, and instrumental performance for concerts, celebrations, and rituals.

With over 20 years of world music and vocal performance experience, Renee launched her vocal music studies at Laney College in Oakland, CA 1991, soon after transferring to Mills College in Oakland, CA in 1997, acquiring a B.A. in Music with a specialization in Vocal Performance. While at Mills, Renee had the pleasure of studying vocal Jazz techniques with Faith Winthrop, Molly Holm,  and, soon after, with Ledisi at The Jazzschool.

Renee is the founder and facilitator of Bay Area Vocal Improv and a certified Music Together teacher who has been joyfully leading children and families in facilitated musical experiences since 2001. Renee, a member of the Northern CA Drum Circle Facilitators Coalition is an enlivened drum circle facilitator trained by Village Music Circles. Please click on the Bay Area Vocal Improv and Community music to learn more.

In addition to a multi-culturally diverse vocal repertoire, Renee is a skilled and growing multi-instrumentalist, a practice that developed out of her natural curiosity, and was further supported by her studies acquiring a Certification in Sound, Voice, and Music Healing at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA, and has continued her studies with Ancestral Sound Curator, Musician, and Curandero Tito La Rosa.

Renee is the the lead singer of The Orpheus World Music Ensemble, and she has facilitated ritual through song for over 15 years in the Lakota-Sioux ceremonial tradition and in the Jewish Renewal community . She has had the pleasure of facilitating private rituals including birth, coming of age, and other ceremonies that assist members in the process of being held by community.

Groups directed - Bay Area Vocal Improv

Web Site - Renee Benmeleh

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