Take Five With Andrea Brachfeld

Andrea Brachfeld BY

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Meet Andrea Brachfeld:
Flutist, composer, arranger, producer, educator, business owner, Andrea Brachfeld, is a graduate of The High School of Music and Art and the Manhattan School of Music. Study with Hubert Laws, Jimmy Heath, George Coleman and Mike Longo helped her develop her own improvisational style.

Her breakthrough performance as the flutist for the popular Latin band Charanga '76 catapulted her into Salsa history and fame as the first female flutist to play this music in the United States. She is the recipient of the Chico O'Farrill Lifetime Achievement Award from Latin Jazz USA, the Women in Salsa Award from Salsation, the "Pionero" Award from Mario Torres Productions and, most recently, the "Tribute to the Charanga Flutes," given by Charanga Legends USA, presented in August of 2012.

She currently leads Phoenix Rising and has five CDs out as a leader. Her latest CD, which is her first straight-ahead jazz CD, Lady of the Island, will be released by ZOHO music in the fall of 2012, featuring Wallace Roney, Wycliffe Gordon and Bill O'Connell.

Flute, alto flute, piccolo.

Teachers and/or influences?
Hubert Laws, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, {[Clifford Brown}}, Sonny Stitt, Mike Longo, George Coleman.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I was six years old and played Slaughter, on 10th Ave.

Your sound and approach to music:
My sound comes from fine-tuning my ear to a complete and pure flute sound. My approach is to listen to others as I am playing, listen to the masters from before, and listen to the sounds in my head to compose.

Your teaching approach:
Become focused on what you'd like to accomplish. Listen to the masters about how to achieve those goals. Self-discipline and respect of history and music. Transcribe, listen, transcribe, listen, practice everything in all the keys until you're dreaming it all and can do it in your sleep. Then forget everything, play and breathe life into the moment.

Your dream band:
Russell Malone, Eddie Gomez, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Billy Hart—too many to list—all the real deal players.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
Naked woman onstage who wouldn't put her clothes back on during the break! Give me a break!

Favorite venue:
None yet.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
Prestige Recordings of Trane. Do I have to explain?

The first Jazz album I bought was:
McCoy Tyner, The Real McCoy.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Pureness of spirit through my music. Inspiration to all.

Did you know...
I am very shy.

CDs you are listening to now:
Prestige Recordings by Trane, Sonny Stitt with Oscar Peterson Trio; Clifford Brown and Max Roach; Charlie Parker, everything; Duke Ellington, early records.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Great: Life is what you create!

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Study and then play the real deal.

What is in the near future?
Release of Lady of the Island on ZOHO Records, featuring Wallace Roney, Wycliffe Gordon, and Bill O'Connell.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

What song would you like played at your funeral?
I'll let you know when the time is closer.

What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?
Right now, "Robin's Nest," recorded by Trane with Frank Wess.

By Day:

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Photo Credit

Jack Frisch.

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