When it comes to musical instruments, the flute holds a special place in the hearts of many. It’s a versatile instrument with a rich history, and in central Arizona, two flutists from the Central Arizona Flute Ensemble (CAFE Flutes) offer an educational program called “Fascinating Flutes” that takes you on a captivating journey into the world of flute culture. Let’s explore this program and discover the wonders of the flute family.

The Flute Family

The flute family is a diverse and fascinating collection of instruments, and CAFE Flutes brings them all to life in their “Fascinating Flutes” program. From the familiar silver flutes to flutes constructed from clay, plastic, bone, and seashell, this program explores the incredible variety of flutes found around the world.  Participants learn what makes a flute a flute and how the sound is produced.  The earliest flute was made by Neanderthals in Slovenia from the hind leg of a juvenile cave bear about 60,000 years ago!  Named after the cave it was found in, the Divje flute can play almost a full octave.  During the presentation, participants examine an exact replica of the ancient bone instrument.

Hands-On Experience

One of the highlights of “Fascinating Flutes” is its hands-on approach. Participants have the opportunity to see and hear all five members of the silver flute family up close. They can touch and feel the instruments, gaining a deeper understanding of their construction and unique qualities.  Then they can examine instruments made from natural materials such as clay, seashells, bamboo, and maple.

Myths, History, and Local Stories

“Fascinating Flutes” goes beyond the technical aspects of flutes. It delves into the myths, history, and local stories surrounding these enchanting instruments. Participants learn about the cultural significance of flutes in various societies and how they have been used throughout history.   Do you know  how “panpipes” got it’s name?  It started with the Greek myth about Pan and Syrinx.  Japanese Buddhist monks used the shakuhachi to express their commitment to their religious beliefs, while young Native American men used flute melodies to convey covert messages to their love interests.  The presentation also includes more contemporary elements, such as highlights from the National Flute Association’s annual convention that was held in the Phoenix Convention Center in August 2023.  Flutists and flute groups in the Phoenix area are featured, giving the information a hometown context.

Impact Throughout the World (and Space)

Did you know that flutes have even made their way into space? “Fascinating Flutes” explores flute playing not only on Earth but also on the International Space Station.  The 2011 “Space Duets” video features astronaut Cady Coleman performing live in orbit with flutist Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull on Earth.

Perfect for All Ages

The “Fascinating Flutes” program is designed to appeal to people of all ages. Whether you’re a student, a lifelong learner, or simply curious about the world of music, this program offers a unique and engaging experience.  A special adaption of the program is available for children age 8 and above.

Book “Fascinating Flutes” for Your Event

If you’re looking for an educational and interactive experience that combines history, culture, and music, consider booking “Fascinating Flutes” for your next event. It’s perfect for community gatherings, lifelong learning classes, lecture series, and more. The presenters are available during the daytime or evening, any day of the week.  It can be presented with or without the powerpoint slides, and with or without the CAFE sound system.

In conclusion, “Fascinating Flutes” is more than just an educational program; it’s a journey into the heart of flute culture. CAFE Flutes’ dedication to sharing the wonders of flutes, their cultural significance, and their adaptability in various settings makes this program a memorable and enriching experience. To learn more about “Fascinating Flutes” and how to book it for your event, contact Leslie Etzel, CAFE Manager at 480-242-2124 or visit www.cafeflutes.com.  Embark on a musical adventure like no other!