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 Jazz, Latin Jazz, Salsa, Charanga, funk, Country Western, and devotional music. Some of the many artists she has associated with include Tito Puente, Hubert Laws, Paquito D’Rivera, Slide Hampton, Wallace Roney, Wycliffe Gordon, Ray Barretto, Dave Valentín, Ray Barretto, Wayne Wallace, Bobby Carcassés, Oscar Hernandez, Alfredo de la Fé, Ralph Irrizarry, Joe Newman, Nestor Torres, Kenwood Dennard, Hilton Ruiz, Steve Turre, and Bill O’ Connell 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. 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. She was also awarded the, “Tribute to the Charanga Flutes,” given by Charanga Legends USA, 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 with jazz harmony and 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 Fé on violin. Her third CD “Beyond Standards”, is a collaborative effort with Chembo Corniel, which features jazz greats Hilton Ruiz on piano, Steve Turre on trombone, and Pedrito Martinez on vocals. Her most recent Latin Jazz CD, “Into the World: A Musical Offering” features guest artists Mike Longo, Paul West, and Brian Lynch. Her first 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. Bill produced the record as well as wrote the arrangements.
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.
Andrea has traveled to Cuba a number of times to perform at the Havana Jazz Festival and most recently traveled to Peru to play at the International Flute Festival. She is also an integral part of the Wallace Roney,”Universe” Orchestra playing Wayne Shorter’s long lost music originally written for Miles Davis.
In September of 2015 she was awarded the title of “Best Jazz Flutist” by Hot House Magazine and her CD “Lotus Blossom” came out on Jazzheads Records in October of 2015. The featured performers on the CD include Bill O’ Connell, Rufus Reid, Winard Harper , Chembo Corniel, and special guest appearances by Wycliffe Gordon and Nancy Harms.
Andrea currently tours with her own group, Andrea Brachfeld and Insight featuring Bill O’ Connell, Harvie S and Jason Tiemann, the Wallace Roney “Universe” Orchestra and The Bill O’ Connell Quartet / Dave Valentín Tribute Band featuring Lincoln Goines and Robby Ameen where they recently came back from a tour in Japan playing at the Cotton Club. In June 2017, Andrea was awarded a grant from the prestigious organization, Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, to compose a new jazz work. Her new CD, “If Not Now, When? ” which was released on Jazzheads in May of 2018, reflects this new music.