Also known as The Hip-Hop Violinist, Miri Ben-Ari was born in Israel, where she began taking music lessons as a young child. After playing in the Israeli Army String Quartet in her teens, she moved to New York City to study at the Mannes College of Music. Once in the States, she released several albums and was taken under the wing of legendary jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. A fervent fan of hip-hop and R&B, she soon began playing (and writing and producing) for a wide array of industry superstars, including Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean and Kanye West. Her partnership with West led to her extensive work on The College Dropout, she also toured with him and played the strings on Twista's smash hit "Overnight Celebrity." High profile performances, TV appearances and chart-topping collaborations paved the way for her 2005 album The Hip-Hop Violinist.