Educator in Residence

Cellist and composer/arranger Dr. Renata Bratt, is both an accomplished performer and a nationally recognized, well-respected educator. Along with performing and touring with New Almaden Trio and rocker Cindy Lee Berryhill, she has shared the stage with luminaries such as Liz Carroll, Darol Anger and Alasdair Fraser and has played back-up with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, David Sanborn, Lyle Lovett, and Dionne Warwick, prompting Rolling Stone to dub her an “ace performer”.

Equally impressive is her educational resume which includes a Ph.D. in Music from the University of California at San Diego, a Master’s degree in Music Performance from California State University at Northridge and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College. She writes instructional books for Mel Bay and jazz, fiddle and rock string orchestra arrangements for both Alfred Publishing and String Letter Publishing.

An in-demand clinician, Bratt teaches national clinics and string workshops for children and adults, including the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), MENC and Suzuki institutes and conferences, the New Directions Cello Festival, Alasdair Fraser’s camps, the Mark O’Connor String Conference, Wintergrass and the National Cello Institute. She is a past president of the Suzuki Music Association of California and the International Association for Jazz Education String Caucus. She will be a featured clinician and judge at the 2012 ASTA Eclectic Styles Festival. Amazingly, in addition to her busy performance and teaching schedule, Bratt has managed to find the time to record several excellent CDs—Pacific Cello, A Slice of Summer, Great Big Taters and Jazz Trio 2006.

A trained classical musician with a thriving career performing with symphony orchestras and chamber music groups, she turned to jazz after a mind-expanding, life-changing concert by Darol Anger and the Turtle Island String Quartet in the late eighties. Smitten and inspired, Bratt began to perform and write articles on improvisation in string performance, which have been published in Strings magazine, the Journal of the American String Teacher, the American Suzuki Journal and the Jazz Education Journal. Renata has been involved with Kuumbwa for many years, both as a Board Member and as an active member of the Education Committee. It is a gift and a pleasure to have her talents strengthening our programs and we look forward to having her serve as Artist in Residence over the next two years!

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