I’ve done loads of shows about various regions of the world, artists, producers, and even record labels who all deserve to be better known. But this is my first attempt to focus on a single instrument, in this case, The Flute.

Flutes have been around since before written language. Their origins remain a mystery but a bone flute was found in the German Alps that dates back between 43,000 and 35,000 years ago. A Chinese flute called a ch’ie dates back to 900 BCE, and flutes appear in Etruscan artwork from second and third centuries BCE and in India around the same time period. The modern transverse flute (the kind played horizontally) didn’t happen until after the Renaissance.

I’ve loved the flute since I first heard it in jazz. I listened to Roland Kirk, Herbie Mann, Jeremy Steig, and Yusef Lateef when I was a teenager. Something about the breathiness and the purity of tone to say nothing of when they got downright percussive with it that knocked me out. I loved it in all settings, classical, folk, blues, and R&B as well as from around the world.

Tune in on Sunday, April 3 at 5 pm when The Jazz River presents my love letter to the flute. Only on KUVO JAZZ.

Art by Spandana Nakka

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