Question of the Day

This question comes from someone who contacted me through my website.    Please feel free to click on the “booking” tab if you have any more for me.  The question will definitely get to me.   Thanks!

Hey Jef.  How did you come to start playing the flute?

I come from a musical family.   My dad and his brother play guitar and sing, my great uncle played banjo, and at family events on my dad’s side there would usually be a jam session where people would play an instrument or sing.   My grandma on my mom’s side plays piano.

One day, when I was about 10 years old my parents asked me to pick an instrument I would like to take private lessons on.   For some reason, the first thing that came into my mind was flute.  I’m not really sure where that came from, as I didn’t know anyone who played the flute, and I’m not really even sure how much exposure I had to the instrument at the time.   I know it was around that time that I heard a famous Canadian flautist, Moe Koffman in concert … but I have a feeling it was after I started.   It may have been due to seeing a couple cool looking Alexander Zonjic records my dad had.   I think in a lot of ways it could be best described as fate.

My arms were actually too short for the reach of the keys, so I had to start out by playing recorder for a year; which is pretty much the exact same fingering.

I started out taking classical lessons, worked hard on it, and stuck with it for a long time.   I always felt more of a connection to pop, R&B, and hip hop.  The first song I lifted was Phil Collins’ “Do You Remember?”  Things progressed from there to lifting other styles of music.

The first R&B song I performed with someone else outside my lessons was likely Mariah Carey’s “I Don’t Wanna Cry.”  I picked up the sheet music, and had her learn the accompaniment for it.  Mariah has always been a big influence on my playing.

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