New York based flutist Andrea Brachfeld, is a graduate of The High School of Music and Art and The Manhattan School of Music. Over these past 20 years she has recorded more than a dozen CD's with many artists including, Africando, David CedeÃ±o, Noel Pointer, Ralph Irizarry and Timbalaye, Chembo Corniel and Grupo ChaworÃ³, and Charanga America. Her breakthrough performance as the flutist for the popular Latin band Charanga â€˜76 catapulted her into Salsa history and fame as the first female flutist to play this music in the United States. Though she has a strong classical foundation (with former teachers Harold Bennett, Samuel Baron, and Andrew Loyla) she has established herself as a Latin Jazz flutist.
While in high school she received the "Louis Armstrong Award for Outstanding Student" from the Manhattan -based Jazz Workshop Jazz Interactions founded by Joe and Rigmor Newman. Initially her skills in improvisation were embarked upon hearing jazz legend Eric Dolphy. Later study with Hubert Laws, Jimmy Heath, Yusef Lateef, Eddie Daniels, George Coleman and Mike Longo helped her develop her own style. 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 for her skills as a flutist and for her association with the band Charanga '76. She has performed with Dave ValentÃn, Nestor Torres, Joe Quijano, Ruben Blades, Tito Puente, Alfredo De La Fey, Los Jovenes Del Barrio, Conjunto Libre, and Ray Barretto among others. During her years in Venezuela, she had the honor of opening for Chick Corea, Gary Burton, and Paco de Lucia, in addition to her long association with La Inmensa Orquesta and the Oscar Maggi Quintet in Caracas.
Her first recording entitled, "Andrea" was released in 1978 featuring the styles of Charanga and Conjunto music. Her first Latin Jazz CD, "Remembered Dreams" combines Latin flavored originals with compelling contemporary jazz cuts. Her second CD, "Back With Sweet Passion", is a dynamic Charanga Salsa recording featuring Grammy winner Oscar Hernandez on the piano, and Alfredo De La Fey on the violin. Her latest CD "Beyond Standards" is a collaborative effort with Chembo Corniel, featuring jazz greats Hilton Ruiz on the piano and Steve Turre on the trombone. She is currently performing with her own groups and she is an integral member of the Latin Jazz Flute Explosion featuring Dave ValentÃn.