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Rebecca KleinmannRebecca Kleinmann (Lecturer) directs Charanga Carolina. She is an acclaimed flutist, singer, educator and composer who has lead diverse bands internationally, produced five albums, contributed to dozens of recordings, performed with luminaries including Hermeto Pascoal, Toninho Horta, Airto Moreira and Taylor Eigsti and at world-famous venues including the San Jose Jazz Festival, SF Jazz, SESC São Paulo, Birdland and Yoshi’s. With roots in Classical music, Gospel and Jazz, Rebecca branched out to focus on Brazilian music, Flamenco and Latin Jazz, immersing herself in these cultures and following her affinity for intricate melodies and enticing rhythms. She bring her unique voice to every ensemble she graces and lends her virtuosic musicality in support of the sound as a whole. Pianist Benny Green makes note of these special skills, saying “Rebecca is masterful and selfless in her ability and inclination of melding her sound with her environment.”

Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Rebecca began synthesizing her diverse musical interests as a flutist and vocalist at Indiana University, where she began her studies as a Classical Flute (performance) major and historically graduated as the first Jazz Flute major in the history of the school’s Jazz Studies program, thanks to the support of her beloved mentor, the late David Baker. In addition, she has studied vocal performance with Fabiana Cozza and Jennifer Barnes. Her varied experiences as a vocalist include performances with the Taylor Memorial Gospel Choir and teaching vocal performance to thousands of elementary school children as an Orff-certified music educator in public schools. Both in teaching and in performances with the RKQ, Rebecca often utilizes her fluencies in Portuguese and Spanish.

In early 2022 Rebecca moved from Oakland to Durham, North Carolina and immediately began planting seeds to continue her musical career on the East Coast. She performed her “Durham Debut” concert to a sold-out audience at The Sharp 9 Jazz Gallery, and has continued to perform around the state at top venues including Middle C in Charlotte and the CAM art museum in Wilmington. The Quintet’s performances are dynamic and varied with beautiful compositions and arrangements reflecting Rebecca’s musical passions.

She has led her Quintet in various formations since 2001, touring internationally with this and other projects to Brazil, Australia, Europe, Africa and within the US. In the words of Latin Grammy Nominated pianist and composer, Jovino Santos Neto, Rebecca plays flute with the passion of a flamenco dancer. Upon completing a June 2023 recording session in NYC, Grammy winning pianist, Taylor Eigsti said Rebecca “brought the music to life.”