Recommended if You Like
Carlos Nakai Mary Youngblood Paul Horn

Genres You Will Love
Moods: Instrumental World: Native American New Age: Meditation Spiritual: Inspirational New Age: Contemporary Instrumental

By Location
United States - California - LA United States - California

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Joanne Lazzaro

I've been playing the flute since the age of 10. Like so many children, I started out in my elementary school's public music program, going on to get a degree in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College, and then a masters degree in Flute Performance from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. I prepared for a career as an orchestral flutist, but my love for the flute extended to playing every sort of exotic flute-like instrument I could find- bansuri, ocarinas, whistles, and various wood, bamboo and ceramic creations.

One day, while traveling across the country by car with my husband Nik, we stopped in a gift shop in Boulder, Colorado. There on the wall hung a type of flute I had never seen before! The person behind the counter said it was Native American, took it down, and gave it to me to play. As soon as I had played a few notes, I was fascinated and completely hooked.

It came with no instructions except for a small care card & fingering chart; but being a classically-trained flutist, I had no trouble picking out pleasing melodies. It became my camping flute, and during our many trips throughout the southwestern desert, I would sit by the campfire in the evenings, and play whatever came to me, while Nik star-gazed with his telescope. It would still be a few more years before I would really know the impact that the NAF (as it’s often abbreviated) would have on me and other people….

On the recommendation of some musician friends, I started playing my world flutes at a local farmer’s market. As a classically-trained flutist it seemed strange at first to stand and improvise for hours at a time. I learned to notice people’s reactions as they walked by, and began to tailor my playing to what I thought they were in the mood for, to get them to stop and listen. People eventually started asking when I would be returning next, and when my CD would be out! I also got used to playing in all sorts of weather conditions, both hot and cold, which turned out to be excellent practice for recording an on-location album under less-than-ideal conditions.

My debut album “Under the Stars” came together surprisingly quickly – everyone who heard about the project in September of 2014 wanted to support it. I remain indebted to the Mount Wilson Observatory and the Art Institute - Inland Empire who were instrumental in making the recording possible. Our crew convened on a cold mountaintop on the evening of November 2nd, 2014 with my collection of flutes, many boxes of food and a heap of recording equipment, and we went to work. The resulting one-hour CD and companion digital EP of out-takes "Under the Stars, Too!" (for the serious NAF improvisation enthusiast) captures the sense of wonder that we all feel when we look into the night sky.

The second album, "Canyon Shadows" (recorded by my trio "Dreamcatcher" and released on my new label JoRazzal Music in 2018) was a project that I started earlier but put on hold for a while. Dreamcatcher (me, jazz flutist Terry Wolff and percussionist Dean Hinkley) performs music for Native American flute, classical flute, and world percussion. We had heard of a neo-classical suite about the Grand Canyon, written by New York composer & flutist Katherine Hoover. The suite was performed by Carlos Nakai back in 1999, but the music was unpublished & never recorded, so I asked Katherine for a score. We performed it in several concerts in 2014 & finally got into the studio to record it in 2015. Then life happened, and I finally got back to finishing it in 2018. Very proud to have produced a World Premier recording, and collaborate with Katherine on the print edition of the music.

The third album is in the planning stages, and will feature my own music again. Aiming to have it finished in later 2018.

In between albums, is more life, of course. Teaching, orchestra concerts, a few more recording sessions, New Age CD release shows (I am the stand-in "live" Los Angeles flutist for whoever actually played on the record - haha!) You can find my calendar on my website - feel free to visit!