Andrea Brachfeld, Lady Of The Island

Posted February 14th, 2013 at 6:37 pm (UTC+0)
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By Diaa Bekheet

After suffering a mysterious affliction that blocked her ability to play, jazz flutist  Andrea Brachfeld recently released a new album, Lady of the Island, her sixth. The disc is a mix of older standards and new, Latin-tinged compositions.  Though she grew up in New York studying jazz, Brachfeld first made her name playing a traditional style of Cuban dance music, “Charanga.” She’s been recognized as one of the first women in the U.S. to perform Charanga. I talked with Brachfeld (who happens to be one of my Twitter followers) and she told me how she got started playing Latin music:

Flutist Andrea Brachfeld at Birdland, New York (Courtesy A. Brachfeld)

Flutist Andrea Brachfeld at Birdland, New York (Courtesy A. Brachfeld)

“I was at a club and I was sitting in and somebody came up and said to me ‘Are you working?’ And I said ‘Not enough.’ And he said ‘Do you want to play Charanga music,’ which is Latin music? And I said ‘Sure.’ He said ‘Do you know how to play [it]?’ I said ‘No.’ He said ‘You’ll figure it out,’ ” recalls Brachfeld “I ended up being the first woman to play this music style in the United States. It just happened. I wasn’t trying.”


With her latest album, Brachfeld continues her transition back to “playing jazz flute as opposed to Latin jazz flute,” she says. Among the excellent musicians helping with that transition are trumpeter Wallace Roney and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, both of whom can be heard on the disc.

Brachfeld’s Discography:

  • Lady of the Island 2012
  • Songs from the Divine 2009
  • Into The World: A Musical Offering 2008
  • Beyond Standards 2006
  • Back With Sweet Passion 2003
  • Remembered Dreams 2001

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