Traditional flute choir arrangements are scored for six parts: typically piccolo, 3 C-flutes, 1 alto flute, and 1 bass flute. When the contrabass flute became more accessible and affordable in the early 2000s, musicians discovered that incorporating a contrabass into the traditional ensemble enormously expanded the textural possibilities. Contemporary arrangers/composers began to highlight the contrabass sound in their pieces by writing solos and including exposed passages for the instrument.
We created CAFE in 2014 because we love performing on our “specialty flutes.” There are only a handful of contrabass flutes in Arizona, so the opportunity to showcase it in a small ensemble was too good to pass up!
Please contact us for our current rates for concerts in the metro Phoenix area. We offer our “CAFE Blend” concerts, “Fascinating Flutes” demonstration, and a reduced package fee for both. The “Holiday Delights” concert is available only in December. CAFE often has grant funding available, so please ask us about that option. There is an additional fee to cover travel costs for concerts outside of Phoenix. We are fully insured.
We have performed at the Desert Botanical Garden, Mesa Art Center, Tempe History Museum, Arizona Broadway Theater, Peoria Center for Performing Arts, and a large number of churches, art galleries, and libraries. We were showcased in the 2019 Globe/Miami Concert Series and are frequent performers at senior communities from Sun City to Scottsdale to Apache Junction. Because we have an enormous repertoire, we can visit a venue multiple times without repeating any pieces!
Yes! We are especially proud of our newly commissioned piece. It is a medley of big band tunes that was created just for us by local arranger David Duarte. We’ve gotten a huge response from audiences hearing their favorite tunes “In the Mood,” “Take the A Train,” “Moonlight Serenade,” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” in a completely new way. In addition, we play an arrangement of Tschaikovsky’s “Dance of the Little Swans” by Bill Cleveland.
Not anymore! In the old days, flute choirs consisted of only C flutes and piccolos. Since the addition of alto, bass, and contrabass flutes, flute ensembles produce music that is much more balanced. The strong low tones anchor the soaring melodies. Also, the quality of hearing aids has improved so that those wearing even the most sensitive hearing aids can enjoy the sound of flutes.
The humorous answer is that you can be called a flautist if your flute is worth more than $12,000. (The exact number has increased over the years!) The British use the term frequently, but the word sounds pretentious to the American ear. The origin is Italian, but since there is no instrument called the “flaut,” we CAFE members call ourselves flutists. Virtuoso flutist Sir James Galway said it this way, “I am a flute player, not a flutist. I don’t have a flaut, and I’ve never flauted.”
We look forward to exceeding your performance expectations!
CAFE Flutes (Central Arizona Flute Ensemble) enriches, enlightens, and inspires central Arizona residents by presenting interactive concerts and educational programs that highlight the diverse instruments in the flute family.