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.
Since she began her professional career as a musician at age 16, she has recorded and played many different genres of music including funk, Country Western, Charanga, Salsa, Latin Jazz, devotional music and more recently, Jazz. Some of the many artists she has associated with include Wayne Wallace, Bobby Carcassés, Oscar Hernandez, Alfredo de la Fe, Ralph Irrizarry, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Joe Newman, Hubert Laws, Nestor Torres, Dave Valentín, Paquito D’Rivera, Kenwood Dennard, Hilton Ruiz, Steve Turre, Wycliffe Gordon and Wallace Roney among many others.
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.
As a high school student, she received the “Louis Armstrong Award for Outstanding Student” from Jazz Interactions, an organization created by Joe and Rigmor Newman. Downbeat magazine referred to Andrea as “one of the finest jazz flutists around.” She has twice been the recipient of the Latin New York Music Award as a flutist. She received the Chico O’Farrill Lifetime Achievement Award from Latin Jazz USA in Oct. 2006 and the “Pionero Award” in 2010 for her contribution to Latin music. Her most recent award, “Tribute to the Charanga Flutes,” given by Charanga Legends USA, was presented to her in August of 2012.
While in Venezuela, having been contracted by music impressario, Renato Capriles, she had the honor of opening for Chick Corea and Paco de Lucia with her first Latin Jazz band in 1982. Her first Latin Jazz CD, “Remembered Dreams” combines original music in the jazz style with Latin rhythms. Her second CD, “Back With Sweet Passion”, is a dynamic Charanga Jazz recording featuring Grammy winner Oscar Hernandez on piano and Alfredo De La Fey on violin. Her third CD “Beyond Standards”, a collaborative effort with Chembo Corniel, features jazz greats Hilton Ruiz on piano, Steve Turre on trombone, and Pedrito Martinez on vocals. She has appeared with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra as a soloist performing her own compositions as well as those of Mike Longo, longtime musical director for Dizzy Gillespie. Her most recent Latin Jazz CD, “Into the World: A Musical Offering” features guest artists Mike Longo, Paul West and Brian Lynch. Her latest CD, which is her first straight-ahead Jazz CD named “Lady of the Island”, was released in October of 2012 by ZOHO music featuring Wallace Roney, Wycliffe Gordon, and Bill O’Connell, longtime musical director for Dave Valentín. He also produced the record as well as wrote the arrangements.
More recently Andrea has traveled to Cuba a number of times to perform at the Havana Jazz Festival. She was also initiated into the Hall of Fame at the Hotel Nacional in Havana.
- “Louis Armstrong Award” for Outstanding Student from Jazz Interactions
- “Latin New York Music Award” – Twice the recipient for flutist
- “Chico O’Farrill Lifetime Achievement Award” – Latin Jazz USA
- “Tribute to Women in Salsa” – Salsation Productions, Washington DC
- Nominated as “Best Latin Jazz flutist” – Chip Boaz – Latin Jazz Corner
- “Pionero” Award for my contribution in Latin Music – Mario Torres Productions
- “Tribute to the Charanga Flutes”, given by Charanga Legends USA presented in August of 2012
- “Official Hall of Fame Artist”, Salsamagazine.com Salsa Awards 2012
Discography As A Leader
- Lady of the Island, ZOHO Records, 2012
- Songs from the Divine, Shaneye Records, 2009
- Into the World: A Musical Offering, Shaneye Records, 2008
- Beyond Standards, Consolidated Artists Productions, 2006
- Back With Sweet Passion, Latin Cool Records, 2003
- Remembered Dreams, Latin Cool Records, 2003
- Andrea, Latina Records, 1978
- Chembo Corniel- 2007
- Victor Rendon- 2006
- Wayne Wallace, Dedication, 2006
- Gene Amato Big Band – 2003
- Africando – 2003
- Timbalaye – Ralph Irizarry 2003
- Grupo Chaworo – Chembo Corniel , 2003
- Willie Moreno,”Soy Moreno”, 2003 “La Inmensa”, two recordings, 1980-1982, Discomoda Records
- Orquesta Tropical Ensueño, 1982
- Culebra, 1981
- Vitas Brenner, 1981
- Charanga America, 1978, El Sonido Records
- Charanga ‘76, three recordings, 1976, 1977, 1983,TR Records
- Benito Sextet, 1975
- Típica New York, 1974
- David Durrah, 1973
- Eddie Carpenter, Noel Pointer, 1972
Photo credits: Maureen Plainfield Photography