There’s a buzz in the music scene lately – the kind of buzz that bubbles under the radar screen just before an artist becomes a household name. RENEE NEUFVILLE has been deservedly standing on the verge for a while now – but. as she explains it, it’s not a bad place to be. “I’ve never been into the ‘flava of the moment’. I’ve always been about music that I hope is timeless. And time equals growth, so success can be the same way. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to. That way I’ll know it’s for real and I’ll stand a better chance of holding onto it.”
Renee’s music knows no boundaries. Her resume boasts Top 5 hit records as one half of ZHANE and world tours as keyboardist/ vocalist in Roy Hargrove’s funky jazz unit, RH FACTOR. RH Factor has stormed through every major International jazz festival from Montreal to the North Seas to Monterey with stops everywhere from Russia and Lithuania to the Hollywood Bowl and New York’s famed Apollo Theatre.
It seems like just yesterday that the fresh melodies and rhythms of ZHANE were joyfully blasting out of every radio and onto every dance floor in
After two platinum albums it was time to move on. Unaffected by industry pressures to rush a solo career, RENEE took the time to raise the bar. In 2000, she hosted “88 Soul”, a series of live internet webcasts where her guests included Jill Scott, Carl Thomas, Kelis and Joe. Meanwhile, she contributed to albums and videos by India.Arie, Will Downing, Heather Headley, Leela James, Aaliyah, Kardinal.Official and Kindred. And all the while, Renee continued to write….and write…and write.
Around this time, RENEE organized her first band, sat at the keyboards with a mic and began a quiet series of club shows. With every performance, Renee’s devoted fan base continued transforming Zhane fans into Renee Neufville fans – going so far as to learn, remember and even sing-along to new material that hadn’t even been recorded! Friends like India.Arie, John Legend and jazz phenom Robert Glasper could be seen cheering her on.
Never one to sit idle, Renee is busily writing what will be her debut solo album while continuing the occasional performance with her own groups. A recent such appearance at New York’s influential Jazz Gallery was packed to the rafters.
A champion of all forms of LIVE music, Renee’s new work is infused with her experiences in the r&b, pop, jazz and Dance hall worlds (lest we forget this Brooklynite’s heart and soul has never strayed far from her native Jamaica). BUT those categories are for the rest of us – for Renee Neufville it’s simply about MUSIC - the songs she writes, the melodies she plays, the bands she leads and the lyrics her exceptional voice caresses.
“Distractions And Reflections”, RH Factor’s next Verve CD, is scheduled for February release and features Renee as literally the “voice” of the band – sharing the composing with Hargrove, contributing keyboard skills and stepping front and center as the band’s featured vocalist. Unable to determine how to pigeonhole Renee’s genre-free, multi-faceted performances with RH Factor, one European critic simply stated, “Renee IS the genre – ‘Viva Genre Neufville!’”.