Eric Darius was born in Livingston, New Jersey, raised in Tampa, Florida, and now resides in Los Angeles, CA. He grew up in a very musical family to a Haitian father, who is a bass player and Jamaican mother, who is a singer and piano player. That Caribbean influence was passed down to Eric and his siblings. His older brother is a drummer and trumpet player, and his sister sings and plays clarinet.
“I first fell in love with the saxophone as a 9-year-old and began playing at the age of 10,” Eric recalls. “By the time I was 11, I started touring worldwide with Sonny LaRosa and America’s Youngest Jazz Band and playing Caribbean music in our family band. It’s truly a blessing to be from a family that not only supports my passion for music but has also given me so many opportunities to nurture my God-given gift and pursue a career in it.”
While growing up, Darius was also influenced by Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, George Benson, David Sanborn, Miles Davis, Bob Marley, and Grover Washington Jr., among many others. While still in high school, at the age of 17, he recorded and released his first album titled, Cruisin’, which would lay the ground work for his seven full-length albums. In 2004, Darius signed his first record deal with Higher Octave Music, after label representatives saw him perform and wow the audience at Florida’s Clearwater Jazz Festival. This resulted in the release of his national debut album, Night on the Town later that year. In 2006, Darius released his third project, Just Getting Started through Narada Jazz. In 2008, he released Goin’ All Out (Blue Note Records), in 2010 On A Mission and 2014 Retro Forward (both through Shanachie Entertainment).
With six highly-acclaimed albums to his discography, Darius continues to rack up some impressive statistics: Three No. 1 Hit Singles; Eight Top 10 Radio Hits on Nielsen’s R&R/Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart; 2004’s Debut Artist of the Year by Smooth Jazz News Magazine; named 2015’s SESAC Top 10 Jazz Artist of the Year; 2017’s Best Jazz, Saxophonist, Composer, Producer & Musician of the Year Award at the 1st Annual Citril Starz Awards; with many more milestones and honors to come.
Darius has made TV Appearances on Fox’s The X-Factor, TNT’s Mob City, and has shared the stage with Grammy â award-winning artists Prince, Mary J. Blige, David Foster, Carlos Santana, Jamie Foxx, Babyface, George Benson, Marcus Miller, Wyclef Jean, and many others.
Darius believes in giving back to today’s youth in the form of education. His On A Mission in the Schools initiative include making regular appearances to speak and perform with students from elementary and middle schools to high schools and at the college level. “I benefited greatly from the music-arts programs, and education is very important to me,” says Darius. “I’m an advocate for music in the schools and I want to help keep it alive. It’s important to me to expose kids to Jazz, encourage them to follow their dreams and inspire them to play musical instruments. I feel I have a responsibility to pay it forward, encourage the next generation and help preserve the future of music.”
She was born December 25th in Detroit, Michigan and began her musical journey at the tender age four. She studied classical music while attending Howard University in Washington D.C. and later gained further musical inspiration from the accomplishments of Yusef Lateef, Ian Anderson, and her father, one of Motown’s original Funk Brothers, Dezie McCullers. She has since developed her own creative style.
For more than 10 years she was employed as a Wayne County Deputy Sheriff (Detroit, Michigan). Today, she is a full-time performing/recording artist and some regard her as a “master of her craft” and one of the world’s most exciting solo improvisational flutists.
In May 2013, she released her fifth project “In The Flow”. Collaborating with Grammy award winning producer Michael Broening, (producer for legendary icons George Benson and Paul McCartney) she cowrote the title track. That single became her biggest hit and reached number one ranking on both the Billboard Chart and the Smooth Jazz Chart. Althea Rene made history by becoming the first flute player in the history of Billboard Chart to reach the number one spot.
In April 2015, Althea Rene recorded her first live project. She and her rhythm section annihilated the stage of the beautiful Detroit Public Library with a free concert. Music fans from all over Michigan enjoyed a scorching hot performance. A compilation of some of her greatest hits, “Live in Detroit” is arguably her strongest work to date.