The Kennedy Center

Miri Ben-Ari


Miri Ben-Ari, a Grammy Award-winning violinist/producer/humanitarian, UN “Goodwill Ambassador of Music,” and Global Brand Ambassador for Harman Kardon. Originally from Israel, has created her own unique sound--a revolutionary fusion of classical soul and dance music. She is recognized as a musical pioneer.

A classically trained violinist, who once studied under the late classical master Isaac Stern, Ben-Ari has helped sell millions of records by collaborating with other Grammy Award-winning artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, Wynton Marsalis, Britney Spears, Maroon 5, Akon, Patti Labelle, Brandy, Donna Summer, Janet Jackson, John Legend, and Armin Van Buuren. Her album The Hip Hop Violinist (Universal Records) features many of these collaborations.

Known for her captivating show-stoppers, Ben-Ari has wowed audiences around the world with performances such as: Aventura’s “Sold Out at Madison Square Garden” concert, VH1?s “Save The Music” Gala at Lincoln Center, “Fashion Rocks” at Radio City Music Hall, Sesame Street, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign, Viacom’s Dream Concert at Radio City Music Hall and the Martin Luther King Jr. Presidential Memorial dedication in Washington, DC. She was invited by media icon Yue-Sai Kan for a special performance during “Miss Universe China” in Beijing, a live broadcast to millions of people.

Ben-Ari has been the face of many promotional campaigns, including; Reebok’s “I Am What I Am” global print and TV advertisements, Vodafone, a Jimmy Hendrix PSA for BET, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and now Harman Kardon (products include headphones and home theater systems).

Miri Ben-Ari loves to give back to the community and has supported different charitable organizations such as UNICEF, FIBA (Fellowship of Israel and Black America), Phoenix House, NRB Convention and Aglow, the Jewish Federation, Russell Simmons’s philanthropic arts foundation and the Emery Awards. Ben-Ari is the founder and CEO of “Gedenk”, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educate, raise awareness, and encourage self-expression among youth about anti-Semitism, racism, and their brutal consequences.
As a young role model, Ben-Ari has been privileged to receive many international accolades: she was honored as an “Apollo Legend” by the Apollo Theater in New York City, “International Jewish Woman to Watch of 2007 Award,” “2008 Israel Film Festival Visionary Award,” the American Society for Yad Vashem Award, “Young & Powerful for Obama” 2011 Rising Star Award, the “Martin Luther King Award” from Israeli President Shimon Peres, and the “2012 Big Vision Awards.”

Her single “Symphony of Brotherhood,” featuring the “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was the first instrumental single ever to hit on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop charts, MTV and VH1.
In 2011, Ben-Ari was invited by America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama, to the White House for a special performance and to be honored as a “Remarkable Woman” and in 2012 Ben-Ari was invited to perform for President Barack Obama.

In 2013, Ben-Ari’s violin feature in Armin Van Buuren’s “Intense” was elected as the “Trance Tune of The Year” by the State of Trance.
Ben-Ari currently has partnered, on behalf of “Gedenk,” with Scholastic Arts & Writing to launch the “Gedenk Award for Tolerance” campaign. She is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post and performs on major stages around the world, also is a special guest feature with Armin Van Buuren “Armin Only-INTENSE” world tour and Arianna Huffington “Third Metric Live” three-city tour.

Watch Past Performances

Video 4/5/2014: Black Girls Rock! Presents Rock! Like a Girl™ featuring MC Lyte, Jean Grae, Miri Ben-Ari, Ana Tijoux, Be’la Dona, Rapsody, and DJ Beverly Bond with a special appearance by Ms. Lauryn Hill

The multi-talented visionary, DJ, founder, and CEO of Black Girls Rock!, Beverly Bond collaborates with the Kennedy Center to present Rock Like a Girl, a signature Bond-Vision Media™ production that celebrates women’s contributions to the art and culture of hip-hop. The program includes performances by a diverse group of female artists from around the world, including legendary rap artist MC Lyte, critically acclaimed lyricist Jean Grae, Grammy Award–winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari, French Chilean MC Ana Tijoux, North Carolina MC Rapsody, a special appearance by the multi-talented Grammy Award–winning MC, singer, and song-writer Ms. Lauryn Hill, and other special guests! D.C.’s own all-girl go-go band, Be’la Dona, serves as the house band with DJ Beverly Bond on the ones-and-twos. Together, these women show what it means to “rock like a girl.” Please join us for a post-show discussion with artists, academics, and activists that encourages dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media. Please note: This concert contains explicit language. A limited number of free tickets will be distributed two (2) per person in line on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the entrance to the Hall of Nations, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Part of One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide.

Video 11/23/2011: Miri Ben-Ari

The Grammy Award®–winning Israeli violinist, who has performed with Kanye West, has created her own unique sound, fusing classical music with jazz, R&B, and hip hop. A dance floor will be installed. Part of Swing, Swing, Swing. 

Note: Only the first 10 minutes of the performance are available for viewing.

Miri Ben-Ari