Rebecca Kleinmann 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. She has performed world wide from Brazil to Australia with her own projects and as a supporting musician. She performed major festivals in California including the San Jose Jazz Festival, SF Jazz, and the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. 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 her various diverse ensembles, Rebecca often utilizes her fluencies in Portuguese and Spanish.
With a growth-minded approach, Rebecca Kleinmann created her ensemble in 2002, created tours up and down California, and performed locally wherever she moved. She hosted a weekly concert series at Bissap Baobab (in San Francisco) for four years, titled “Brazil and Beyond,” where performances featured music from Brazil to Ghana, the Balkans and beyond. Seeking to inform her sound with the benefit of rich musical surroundings. Rebecca has traveled annually to Brazil, as well as to Ghana, Spain, Ireland, Argentina, and Australia. Pianist Benny Green made special note of her unique pursuit of artistic growth, explaining that “Rebecca is masterful and selfless in her ability and inclination of melding her sound with her environment.” In the words of Latin Grammy Nominated pianist and composer, Jovino Santos Neto, "Rebecca plays flute with the passion of a flamenco dancer."
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. In November, she performed her “Durham Debut” concert to a sold-out audience at The Sharp 9 Jazz Gallery, featuring drummer Sylvia Cuenca, bassist Essiet Essiet on bass, percussionist Aaron Sanchez Guerra, pianist Dr. Stephen Anderson, and saxophonist Rahsaan Barber.
The current Rebecca Kleinmann Sextet includes long-term partnerships from California/ New York and newly formed connections with great local musicians. Dr. Stephen Anderson is head of the Jazz Department at UNC Chapel Hill and has immersed himself deeply in the music of the Dominican Republic. His ensemble, The Dominican Jazz Project, is internationally acclaimed. Vibraphonist, composer and producer Dan Neville was the winner of the Jazz Search West competition in 2017 and has since produced his own albums, immersed himself in the music of Columbia, and produced the new album of emerging vocalist Xiomara Torres. Essiet Essiet has long established himself as one of New York’s premier bassists and has played with the greats of Jazz. Sylvia Cuenca is also a first call drummer on both coasts and around the world. Rahsaan Barber is a highly acclaimed saxophonist, composer and educator now completing his third year as Professor of Jazz Studies and Saxophone at UNC-Chapel Hill. This ensemble features an amazing depth of musical knowledge, and couples that depth with a great musical chemistry existing between its members.
In addition, Rebecca has joined Também, a dynamic quartet performing original music and Brazilian Popular Music. She has also co-founded a Brazilian Choro group "Noites Carolinas" which began to perform regularly in 2023. She continues to keep musical relationships alive in California including her connection with Forró bands and her own Venezuelan music project with virtuoso cuatro player and percussionist Jacqueline Rago and guitarist Carlos Caminos. New recordings and projects are in the works for these are other exciting ensembles. Keep your eye on the calendar and please sign up on the email list for updates.