Tag Archives: flute

Artist Profiles: Brian Dunning

Brian Dunning

Brian Dunning had been a professional flutist in Ireland, playing regular classical and jazz gigs, before coming to the U.S. in 1977 to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. “I remember hearing a flute solo on a tune by Them (with Van Morrison) when I was about 16.” Dunning recalls, “and it really used to send me. But jazz became my love.” So it’s not surprising that Dunning’s influences would include both classical master James Galway and jazz great Herbert Laws. But it was after hearing Micheal Ó Domhnaill and Kevin Burke playing duets at a music festival in Birmingham, Alabama that Dunning realized what direction his own music might take. “I jammed with Micheal there,” he says, “and that really made me want to write music that had on Irish flavor but with the freedom of jazz.”

From collaborating with bodhran player Tommy Hayes in a Celtic-tinged improvisational project called Puck Fair, Dunning and O Domhnaill settled into their long-term musical relationship in Nightnoise.

Dunning has also collaborated with keyboardist Jeff Johnson since the late 1980s, recording several albums together, including The Music of Celtic Legends – the Bard and the Warrior (1997), Byzantium (2000), and Patrick (2004).

His music appeared on the soundtrack to Gangs of New York, Windhorse, and The Outcasts.

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Artist Profiles: V.K. Raman

V.K. Raman

V.K. Raman, one of the leading flutists in the Carnatic style of Music, started learning flute at the age of 9. At the age of 15, he started giving full-fledged concerts. Since then Raman has performed in many prestigious organizations in India and abroad. Raman has had the privilege of performing flute duets along with his Guru, the great flute maestro Dr. N. Ramani on several occasions.

Enchanting and transcendent music flows from Raman’s flute as he has mastered superb blowing and fingering technique by which the tonal quality is at its peak. He plays the krithis in Gayaki (Vocal) style, combining it with the unique mind-boggling possibilities of his instrument. He has also performed Jugalbandhi, Fusion Concerts and has been very
successful as a Music Composer. He is a Grade I composer of All India Radio and Doordarshan. He has scored music for many Audio / Video Albums,CD’s and Dance/Theatre productions in India and abroad.

‘Surmani’ Raman , an ‘A’ Grade artiste of All India Radio has captivated the audiences in a number of India’s major music
festivals and toured widely in USA, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and Japan.

Discography

Raman has released more than 50 albums,.

Mohana Rama
Swara Raga Sudha
Magic Bamboo
Divine Melodies
Sur Milan (Sagar Music, with Dr. Suma Sudhindra on the Veena)
Sur Sangam (Sagar Music, with Nanda Kishore Muley on Santoor)
Classical Indian Flute (Inner Splendor Media, 2007)
Classical Indian Flute & Violin With Virtuoso Brothers V.K. Raman and Mysore V. Srikanth (Inner Splendor Media, 2008)
Classical Indian Flute and Violin Vol. II With Virtuoso Brothers V.K. Raman and Mysore V. Srikanth (Inner Splendor Media, 2008)
Confluence (Felmay, 2009)
Navarasa – Eternal Emotions

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The Stylish Celtic Flute Allure of Flook

Flook – Ancora (Flatfish Records, 2019)

Flook, the Celtic flute powerhouse, is back with a fabulous new album. Ancora is Flook’s first studio album since 2006 and the four musicians have delivered another gem. Flook performs original contemporary instrumental pieces rooted in Irish folk music traditions. The primary composers are the two flute players, Sarah Allen and Brian Finnegan.

Flook – Ancora

The music of Flook revolves around masterful flute and whistle melodies and their exquisite interplay, supported by the trance-like beat of the Irish bodhran frame drum and string instruments.

Ancora features various guests that contribute influences from other global musical traditions and new tonalities through several unexpected, delightful musical instruments like the Theremin, steel drums, hurdy gurdy, hammered dulcimer and the pandereta asturiana.

The current Flook lineup includes Brian Finnegan on flutes and whistles; Sarah Allen on alto flute, concert flute and accordion; Ed Boyd on guitars, bouzouki and piano; and John Joe Kelly on bodhran.

Guests include Simon Chrisman on hammered dulcimer; Phil Cunningham on piano accordion; Amadou Diagne on percussion; Philip Henry on lap steel guitar; Trevor Hutchinson on acoustic bass; Melvin Ifill on steel drums; Matthias Loibner on hurdy-gurdy; Conor McCreanor on acoustic bass; Niall Murphy on fiddle; Patsy Reid on cello, viola, violin; Eva Tejedor on pandereta asturiana; and Mark Tucker on Theremin.

Ancora is an impeccable example of exceptionally expressive, shape-shifting Celtic music craftsmanship

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Artist Profiles: Robert Tree Cody

Robert Cody

Robert “Tree” Cody (also known in the Maricopa language as Oou-Kas Mah Quet or “Thunder Bear”) was born April 20, 1951 in Los Angeles, California. He is a Native American flutist, dancer, artist, educator and actor who has performed throughout the United States, continental Europe, Canada, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, East Asia, Central & South America and Mexico

As an enrolled member of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Community and of Dakota heritage, Cody shares his knowledge of Native American culture, song, dance and music as a performer and invited lecturer at concert halls, universities, museums, schools, and colleges throughout the world.

A versatile flute player and a gifted singer, Cody has eight albums on the Canyon Records label. His most recent album, Crossroads, brings together for the first time, the music of the native people of the Great Plains and Mexico. This recording teams him with Mayan flutist Xavier Quijas Yxayotl (Huichol). Native Flamenco, fuses the Native American cedar flute with flamenco guitar and ethnic percussion into a hot lively sound. Guitarist, Ruben Romero, and percussionist, Tony Redhouse, perform with him on this groundbreaking recording.

Maze, travels a musical journey through the Southwest. Set prior to European arrival to Turtle Island, a wanderer of the North travels and meets the nations of the Southwest. Maze was a Native American Music Awards winner as Best New Age Album of 1999, and it’s track “The Bird Song” was a finalist as Best Song of the Year.

In 1999, Cody appeared as a featured guest artist on a Windham Hill modern jazz release by Russ Freeman and the Rippingtons.

Cody has a remarkable ability to communicate with people of all cultures. His knowledge of six Native American languages, in addition to English, Spanish and a bit of French and Japanese is useful when he travels abroad. Cody holds a special place in his heart for young people of all cultures, and generously gives with his time and many talents for people in need.

Discography:

Traditional Flute Music Of The Native American ‎(Canyon Records, 1988)
Young Eagle’s Flight (Canyon Records, 1991)
White Buffalo (Canyon Records, 1996)
Dreams From The Grandfather (Canyon Records, 1996)
Native Brotherhood, with Ruben Romero ‎(New Earth Records, 2001)
Maze (Canyon Records, 2002)
Reflections ‎(Canyon Records, 2003)
Heart of the Wind – Music for Native American Flute and Drums, with Will Clipman (Canyon Records, 2006)

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Artist Profiles: María Toro

María Toro

Spanish musician María Toro was born in 1979 in La Coruña, Spain. She is a respected flutist and flamenco-jazz composer whose career path has taken her across many countries in different continents over the years. Seven years after moving from her native Galicia to Madrid, in 2009, she joined an international flamenco company in Zurich, Switzerland.

Afterwards, she crossed the Atlantic to form part of the flamenco and jazz movement in New York City. Later, she settled in Rio de Janeiro in order to integrate her music with the effervescent musical sounds of the city.

In Switzerland, she started to compose her first album, A Contraluz, finally recorded in the United States in 2014 with renowned jazz performers in New York City. In 2016, while living in Rio de Janeiro, she recorded her second album, Araras, accompanied by great performers such as Hermeto Pascoal, who provided Brazilian rhythm to her proposal.

In 2017, Maria Toro returned to Madrid, where she continues composing and performing her musical repertoire throughout Spain and Europe.

Discography:

Jose Romero Project (2012)
A Contraluz (Jazz Activist, 2014)
Araras (Jazz Activist, 2018)

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Artist Profiles: Flook

Flook in 2019

The idea of Flook was first conceived in Manchester, November 1995, when Michael McGoldrick (flutes), Brian Finnegan (flutes) and Sarah Allen (flutes, whistles, accordion) got together for one tour titled Three Nations Flutes. The unusual line-up included three flute players. Guitarist Ed Boyd was drafted in at the end of the tour and they changed their name to Fluke!, later to Flook.

In 1997, the band released Flook! Live!, which captured the three talented flutists at their best during the Sidmouth Folk Festival. Michael McGoldrick was part of the Manchester Irish scene from a young age. Brian Finnegan was raised in Armagh in Ireland while Sarah Allen was originally from London. Ed Boyd spent his childhood in Bath before he moved to Manchester and formed Red Ciel prior to Flook!

When Mike left to pursue solo projects in 1998, John Joe Kelly (bodhran), who was also a veteran of the Manchester Irish scene, was brought in full time, having previously appeared as an occasional guest.

Flook’s unique combination of flutes, underpinned by fluid guitar and hugely impressive bodhram playing made them one of the most popular groups on the live music circuit in the UK.

Flook won Best Band at BBC Folk Awards in 2006.

The group disbanded in 2008 and reformed in 2013.

In 2019, after a recording hiatus of 14 years, Flook announced the release of ‘Ancora’ in April 2019. The 2019 lineup featured the flutes and whistles of Brian Finnegan and Sarah Allen, the guitar of Ed Boyd and the bodhran of John Joe Kelly.

Brian Finnegan said, “Way back in 2005 when we released our 3rd studio album ‘Haven’, little did we know that it would be our last for almost a decade and a half. We took a break in 2008, followed our hearts and instincts and went our separate ways; had kids, got hitched, loved, lost, explored the musical world post-Flook. But when Flook came calling again in 2013, so the voltage returned and like all deep friendships it felt like we’d never been apart.

Part of the decision to re-group was the understanding that we had much left to say as a band, and a certain responsibility to our loyal fans, old and new, to create Flook music of the present, rich in both past and future.

The imagery associated with the meaning of ‘Ancora’ is abundant indeed. It is the Latin word for anchor, be that to the seabed or in the kith and kin of our lives. It also means ‘hope’ and ‘again’. The great Italian master Michelangelo was attributed as saying “Ancora Impara” on his 87th birthday, meaning “I am yet learning”. This resonated in us and was present throughout the process of recording ‘Ancora’. So, deeper in we go. Thanks for listening.”

Discography:

Flook! Live! (Small CD 945 1997)
Flatfish (Flatfish 2CD 1999)
Rubai (Flatfish4CD 2003)
Haven (World Village, 2006)
Ancora (Flatfish Records, 2019)

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Magela Herrera, Rising Latin Jazz Flutist

Magela Herrera – Explicaciones

Magela Herrera – Explicaciones (Brontosaurus, 2019)

Explicaciones (Explanations) is the new solo album from Cuban composer and skilled flute player Magela Herrera. Currently based in Miami, Magela Herrera performs music rooted in American jazz and Cuban rhythms and melodies. She has a charming, highly expressive style as a flutist.

The musicians on Explicaciones are some of Miami’s finest jazz players: Tal Cohen on piano; Nestor del Prado on bass; Dion Keith Kerr on bass; Hilario Bell on drums; David Chiverton on drums; Greg Diamond on guitar; Jean Caze on trumpet; and Philbert Armenteros on batá drums.

Although most of the tracks are instrumentals highlighting the flute, Magela also sings on a couple of tracks. She includes the Spanish language romantic classic “Bésame Mucho” (“Kiss me a lot”), written in 1940 by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez and popularized by Los Panchos.

Explicaciones is a delightfully-crafted album showcasing the talent of a young composer and superb instrumentalist.

Buy the CD from CD Baby or the digital download from Amazon.

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Artist Profiles: Jorge Pardo

Jorge Pardo in 2014 – Photo by Manuel Naranjo

Jorge Pardo was born in Madrid in 1955. He started his studies at the Conservatory of Madrid at the age of 14. From very early on in his career he immersed himself in jazz and was one of the founding members of the group Dolores (together with Pedro Ruy-Blas). Today, Jorge is regarded as one of the true leaders of a style of music that fuses flamenco with jazz. In fact, he is among the elite group of jazz figures from Spain with an international following.

Introduced to the world of professional flamenco at the hands of groundbreaking flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, he has acquired a new hybrid language between jazz “de raiz” (“from the roots”) and flamenco.

Jorge Pardo in the late 1980s – Photo by Mario Pacheco

Jorge Pardo’s style and technique on both flute and the sax is blazing new trails in this constantly developing music. In addition to his work in Sexteto by Paco de Lucia, he has collaborated with nearly every major figure in the world of flamenco; his resume includes concerts with Chick Corea and Astrid Gilberto, and Jorge is also a longtime collaborator with flamenco rock bands Ketama and La Barberia del Sur, further exploring the outer reaches of the rhythms of flamenco.

In 2013, Jorge Pardo received the award for Best European Jazz Musician, by the French Academy of Jazz.

In 2016, Pardo released the Djinn Metaflamenco project that delved into the essence of flamenco, takinge it beyond the confines of its current borders. The album featured Hammond organs, keyboards with acid sounds, powerful drums, electric bass and flamenco guitars joined by saxophoness and flutes (sometimes processed) and the contributions of Dj’s and producers working with samples of vintage singing.

In 2017, Djinn Metaflamenco won the Best flamenco album award at the Premios MIN, the elading indepedne t jusic awards in Spain.

Discography:

Jorge Pardo (Blau, 1982)
El Canto De Los Guerreros (Linterna Música, 1983)
A Mi Aire (Nuevos Medios, 1987)
Las Cigarras Son Quizá Sordas (Nuevos Medios, 1991)
10 De Paco, with Chano Domínguez (Nuevos Medios, 1994)
De Dos En Dos (Nuevos Medios, 1995)
2332 (Nuevos Medios, 1997)
Music For Ebbe: Live In San Sebastian (El Delirio, 1999)
El Concierto De Sevilla (Nuevos Medios, 2000)
Directo (Satchmo Jazz Records, 2001)
Mira (Nuevos Medios, 2001)
Bouderbala, with Nass Marrakech and Omar Sosa (World Village, 2001)
Quid Pro Quo (Satchmo Jazz Records, 2003)
Vientos Flamencos (Manantial De Músicas, 2005)
3dd’3 (Quadrant Records, 2006)
Desvaríos (RTVE Música, 2007)
Entre (MusiMagic, 2008)
Sin Precedentes (Nuevos Medios, 2008)
Vientos Flamencos 2 (Flamenco World Music, 2009)
Sobre la Marcha (CQuadrant Records, 2011)
Huellas (Cabra Road, 2012)
Puerta Del Sol (Nuba Records, 2013)
Historias de Radha y Krishna (Fol Música, 2014)
Djinn (Karonte, 2016)

DVD

Live At The Auditori Pau Casals, El Vendrell (Quadrant Records Q00002V 2007

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Artist Profiles: Nestor Torres

Nestor Torres

Nestor Torres was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, in 1957. He took flute lessons at age 12 and began formal studies at the Escuela Libre de Música, eventually attending Puerto Rico’s Inter-American University. At 18, he moved to New York with his family. “That’s where I first developed my improvisational skills as a charanga (Cuban dance music) flutist,” he says. “In charanga, the flutist improvises a great deal – the focus of his solos are to make people dance. Even when I play today, my approach is still very rhythmic and melodic.”

Torres went on to study both jazz and classical music at the Mannes School of Music in New York and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, among other places.

He moved to Miami in 1981, and signed with PolyGram, where he released Morning Ride in 1989. His major label debut climbed quickly to the top of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts and soon brought him widespread acclaim. Tragedy struck a year later when an accident in a boat race left him with eighteen fractured ribs, two broken clavicles and a collapsed lung. His record company dropped him, he and his wife divorced, and his home was nearly repossessed.

A longtime practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism – a branch of Buddhism with roots in 13th-century Japan – Torres says the ordeal “taught me that no matter how difficult and hopeless my situation seemed, my life was fine. It was not about ‘Why me?’ but rather ‘Okay, this is what I must deal with and overcome now…so let’s go!'”

An outpouring of sympathy followed from the South Florida community, including a benefit concert staged by a local radio station and individuals who stepped forward with money to save Torres’ home. “An appreciation for life and a realization that we are all interconnected is the greatest legacy of that experience,” he says. “I also learned firsthand about the value of the people behind the scenes – the nurses, my family and friends, and especially my fans. Were it not for them, I would not have been able to overcome this difficult situation.”

Torres began the long recovery process and released Dance of the Phoenix in 1990. In 1994, he recorded Burning Whispers for Sony. His Latin-jazz composition ” Luna Latina” was nominated in 2000 for a Latin Grammy. A year later, he won a Latin Grammy for This Side of Paradise. “Of course it was a great honor and privilege to win the Grammy,” Torres reflects. “That being said, the fact that I was to receive it on 9/11 gave my work and my music a stronger sense of mission and purpose. Terrorism and violence come from ignorance, anger, arrogance and hopelessness. Music and culture inspire and empower; they soothe the human heart and enlighten the spirit. I have made it my prime point to create music and live my life as an artist and a human being in a way that does just that.”

Mi Alma Latina: My Latin Soul, a compilation of Latin standards was released in 2002. Torres’ Heads Up debut, Sin Palabras (Without Words), released in March 2004, features a re-working of the Latin classic “Contigo Aprendo,” the Alejandro Sanz hit “Regálame La Silla Donde Te Esperé,” and nine original tunes. In addition to Torres’ fine musicianship, the album features a number of talented producers, including James Lloyd (from Pieces of a Dream) on seven tracks, Carlo Pennisi from Miami and Jimmy Haslip (of Yellowjackets).

Carlo has a very fresh sound and a European sensitivity that appeals to me a great deal,” Torres says. “Jimmy, Danny and Baby Boy are a unique writing team with an impressive and impeccable pop music approach. James Lloyd is a master. His work with Pieces of a Dream has consistently been on top of the charts. Plus, he’s a great producer and a lot fun to be around.”

Torres has worked with everyone from Tito Puente to Gloria Estefan and many contemporary jazz greats. He still performs at benefit concerts all over the world, but especially in his adopted hometown of Miami. Recently, he returned to the Escuela Libre de Música in Puerto Rico as a judge at their first juried music competition. And he still gives master classes to students.

These types of activities are wonderfully rewarding and fulfilling,” Torres says. “I enjoy people, I enjoy serving and consider it a blessing to be able to make a difference.”

Discography:

Puro Sabor (Polydor, 1978)
Morning Ride (Verve Forecast, 1989)
Dance Of The Phoenix (Verve Forecast, 1991)
Burning Whispers (Sony Latin Jazz, 1994)
Talk To Me… (Sony Discos, 1996)
Treasures of Heart (Shanachie, 1999)
This Side Of Paradise (Shanachie, 2001)
Mi Alma Latina – My Latin Soul (Shanachie, 2002)
Charanga Caliente (En Descarga) (Envidia, 2003)
Sin Palabras – Without Words (Heads Up International, 2004)
Dances, Prayers, & Meditations For Peace (Heads Up International, 2006)
Nouveau Latino (Diamond Light Records, 2008)
Del Caribe, Soy! Latin American Flute Music (Naxos, 2017)
Jazz Flute Traditions (Alfi, 2017)

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Artist Profiles: Cesar Peredo

Cesar Peredo
Peruvian flutist and composer Cesar Peredo studied flute at the National Conservatory of Lima. Peredo continued his studies at the Hochschule fur Musik in Detmold, Germany, under the tutelage of Michael Achilles, who was a student of Hans Peter Schmitz (principal soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra). He later studied privately in Los Angeles, California, with Arthur Hobermann, one of the most popular flutists in the Hollywood area.

At the same time he was studying in Europe, he attended master classes and courses with renowned soloists such as Paul Meisen, Hans Peter Schmitz, Maxence Larrieu, Andreas Blau, William Bennett,and others.

After returning to Peru, he studied composition with Celso Garrido Lecca and Enrique Iturriaga. In 2001, he won an honorable mention in a composition contest organized by the American Flute Association.

He has performed and/or recorded popular music with renowned Peruvian and international artists such as Placido Domingo, Zamphir, Joan Manuel Serrat, Juan Diego Florez, Pedro Aznar, Fito Paez, Tania Libertad, Gian Marco, Alex Acuña, Eva Ayll?n, Cecilia Barraza, Pepe Vasquez, Dave Valentin, Nestor Torres, Orlando “Maraca” Valle and others.

He participated on the Jolgorio CD of Peru Negro, which was nominated for a Grammy award in 2004 and 2005.

As a classical music soloist, he has performed with all Peruvian orchestras, interpreting concerts for flute and orchestra, some of which had never been performed before in Peru.

As a jazz and world music flutist he has recorded with the most important Peruvian artists.

For 10 years, he was principal soloist with the Lima Philharmonic Orchestra.

Currently, he is principal soloist with the Prolirica Symphony Orchestra (Peru) and conductor of the group “Los de adentro” (jazz & world music with Peruvian roots).

Discography:

Despertando (Adagio, 1999)
Pensamento (Adagio, 2000)
Cosas de Negros (Adagio, 2004)
A Felicidade en Vivo (Adagio, 2007)

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