Born in New York City, Rene Profit-McLean global renowned Multi-reed Instrumentalist (Alto, Tenor, Soprano saxophone, Flutes, Ney, Shakuhachi), Composer, Band leader, Educator and Producer, began his musical training at the age of nine under the tutelage and guidance of his father, world renowned alto saxophonist and educator Jackie McLean. Rene recounts: "My father began giving me the saxophone in stages beginning with the mouth piece then the neck and finally the horn". As an adolescent, the young McLean was already performing with local Jazz, R&B, Calypso, Latin and other bands of varied musical traditions, making his debut with Jackie McLean's band in the early-1960's as well as leading is own band's.
Rene McLean's debut as a band leader and producer began at the age of 16 in August 1963 on New York City's lower east side at the East River Park Amphitheater in a concert sponsored by Mobilization for Youth Inc. and produced by Rene featuring several bands of Young Lions of the era which included his group featuring : Larry Willis (Piano), Eddie Gale (Trumpet), Pete Pearson (vibes) and Alan Silver (Bass). In addition his band also played at the original world famous Birdland as part of Alan Grant's Sunday afternoon Jazz series featuring young and up coming musicians, as well as being one of the first bands to perform at the famous lower eastside 60's Jazz spot " Slugs". He later introduced the owners to Jackie McLean; that was the beginning of Jazz at Slug's, the rest is history.
Rene has performed and recorded as a leader and featured sideman with the creme de la creme of Black Musical tradition such as: the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, Lionel Hampton - All Stars, Tito Puente Orchestra, Caesar Concepcion Orchestra, Frank Foster's Loud Minority, Sam River's Harlem Ensemble, Ray Charles Orchestra and the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra; to the smaller ensembles of : Jackie McLean, Horace Silver, Woody Shaw, Dr. Bill Taylor, Doug and Jean Carn, Baba Olatunji, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Abbey Lincoln, Arthur Prysoc, Little Jimmy Scott, Dexter Gordon, James Moody, Yusef Lateef, Jaco Pastorius, Jerry Gonzales' Forte Apache Band, Hamza El Din, as well as in collaboration with premier poet-activist Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), Jayne Cortez/Fire Spitters and as Musical Director/ Composer for the production of Ntozake Shange's play "For Colored Girls...", choreographed and directed by George Faison and Oedipus the King directed by Jonathan Wilson, Mclean has also appeared in the movie Cotton Club and advertising adds for BASF and Smith & Barney Investments.
Rene McLean draws inspiration and insight from the rich diversity of the African American tradition and various world music genres with particular emphasis on Eastern and African traditions...