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Blog Posts (7)
  • Interview: Jean-Paul Wright from Trevor James Flutes/UK

    Hi there Jean-Paul! For starters, please tell us a little about yourself... Hello. My name is Jean-Paul Wright. For my day job, I’m the Managing Director of the international musical instrument company Worldwind Music (owner of the TJ / Trevor James and also Flute Makers Guild of London brands). I am the global creative director for the TJ instrument brand, am host of the popular ‘Talking Flutes’ podcast channel and the creator of website for stressed and anxious musicians. I am also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Worldwind Music Charitable Foundation. Outside of the day job, I am a qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and a long time advocate of meditation. Over the years I have worked with sportsmen, musicians and actors on strategies to overcome pending performances or events, and have given many classes on ‘Calming the Inner Voice’, ‘Unhooking from thoughts’ and the use of ‘marginal gains’ for musicians using the mind as the root. In recent years I have eased up a little, and now spend my time attempting to get stripes on the garden lawn, meditating, blowing bubbles and messing around with my beloved camera. Where are you from, where did you grow up? I grew up in a small town just outside of Cambridge (U.K) and now live in an old English town called Royal Tunbridge Wells which is 28 miles south of London. How did you start playing the flute? How did your passion for music started? I started the flute when I was 9 years old and quickly found a passion for ‘The sideways blowing tube’. After the completion of my academic studies, I moved to London where I studied the instrument with George Crozier and Jim Dower. In the years since, I claim (like many musicians), to have performed on radio and television in many of the major concert halls throughout the world. I have tutored and given flute, performance and ‘Mind’ masterclasses at flute and music events in the UK and also overseas. How many years have you been working for Trevor James Flutes? How did you start it? I joined Trevor James flutes in 1993 to establish and head-up a marketing team of flute players and musicians. In the years since, I have been responsible for developing the Miyazawa and Sankyo flute brands in the UK and Ireland and have been the global head of marketing and creative development for TJ flutes and saxophones in 1997. In 1998 I became co-owner of the company and in 2017, managing director for the business. What current projects have you been working on on a personal level and for Trevor James Flutes? When Covid-19 hit the world in March 2020, we were ready to go live with the launch of a number of new flute related improvements and products. But had to put these on hold until late 2020. This delayed our launch of our range of Grenadilla and Rosewood piccolos, the upgrading of our 925 silver ‘Voce’ head ‘Step-up’ flute to a higher silver content 958 silver ‘Voce’ head and the extension of our copper alto flute to having a ‘RAW’ version. We have in the meantime been consolidating these projects, doing more online product testing and review and have utilised the past 12 months getting ready with these new instruments. We also have a very successful saxophone side of our business which again has new products and upgrades waiting for the world to open up again. On a personal level, I continue to love photography. As a long time meditator, I have incorporated this angle along with an exploration of true mindfulness for musicians in classes I have given in 2020 and those planned for 2021 online via zoom to Universities, flute groups and flute societies. Among all TJ Flutes, which one is your favorite flute and why? It has to be the alto flute. When I joined the company in the 1990’s, alto flutes were like an endangered species. I instigated research and development with our technical team, giving the brief to design and manufacture a free blowing but affordable alto. Since the turn of the millennium, my personal goal has been to get the alto to as many flute players as possible. The advent of social media gave us the tools and medium to really show what value the addition of an alto can make to a flute players repertoire. What has been your most touching or amazing moment you've experienced as a musician? I’ve been privileged to have many amazing moments as a musician. Being based in London, over the years I have performed as part of a salon orchestra for many royal and state events at Buckingham Palace. I’ve also played at Royal weddings, Royal funerals and many state events of visiting Presidents. However two most touching and memorable moments I have had was firstly when performing the Ibert Concerto in a beautiful cathedral in Jaca , North of Spain in 1992. At the end of the concert, the parent of a blind child came up to me and said that her daughter was really moved and had cried at the end of the middle movement. She did counter this by saying her daughter didn’t like the first and third movements though :-) The second moment which I’ve carried with me throughout my business life was on a concert tour in Hungary in the late 1990’s when I was playing with the wonderful flutist and flute professor Itzes Gergely. We did many concerts and classes during the tour however I was really struck with some of the younger Hungarian players. Not only by their impressive technical prowess, but also by their emotional maturity in performance. On checking what instruments they were playing I was stunned to see that many were playing on very old flutes which the modern western flute player would not wish to use. It was this experience which magnified that the ability and power of musical communication comes from the individual. The flute is just a tool, like a saw is to a carpenter. These young players used the poor tools that were in front of them and yet made beautiful music. My aim has always therefore (with TJ flutes) been to design and build good quality, affordable flutes for all. What other musicians have been inspirational to you in your work? Let’s start with Ralph Vaughan Williams with whom I used to indulge in visual dreams when hearing his beautiful music when I was growing up. Secondly I can’t forget the reason I play the flute is down to the wonderful flute playing legend that is Sir James Galway. My mum is an old fashioned, “tough as boots” English lady who if she’d cut off one finger would have said, “don’t worry I have others”. And yet Sir James Galway could bring tears to her eyes when she heard him on the radio. My grandfather took me to a London concert of his in the 1970’s and I was hooked straight away with his virtuosity, THAT sound and also his stage presence. I wanted to play the flute from that day onwards! I have been inspired by many flute players including William Bennett (WIBB), Emmanuel Pahud, Denis Bouriakov, Paul Edmund Davies, Rober Dick (amongst others) who opened up my eyes to new ideas and sounds. Jazz greats Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, Duke Elington. Singers such as Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, Joan Sutherland through to the beautiful and soulful voices of Amy Winehouse, Babra Streisand, Eva Cassidy, Frank Sinatra. I really love the compositions and power of music by David Guetta, Sia and rap and Grime artists such as Stormzy etc. I am constantly being inspired by old and new musicians and have a very eclectic playlist. Has anything funny happened to you in a performance? I have far too many stories to put down here, from falling backwards when leaning off my chair, hitting the second flute in the face with my flute (and making her lip bleed) when an orchestra I was playing in was squeezed into a small space. Getting into trouble at a Royal banquet for laughing (and wearing red socks!). I am a giggler and once I start laughing then I can’t stop myself. The problem I have is that the funny stories would take up the whole of this interview as there are so many. So I’m probably best to park this question with your intrigue! If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be? An acceptance that there is room for everybody. A musician's instrument is such a personal choice. We should always make our decision based around how an instrument makes us feel and if it opens up opportunities for your playing. You spend more time with your instrument than you do with our partner so you have to choose the one that you completely gel with. With people, teachers and industry pushing brands and preferences, we often see players not being totally happy with their instruments because they have been pushed into buying a certain brand or model by external pressure.. “Well” (I hear you say), this is all well and good however don’t you run a musical instrument company? As most of us at TJ flutes are musicians then we get it! We just encourage players to test everything in their price range and choose the one that they fall in love with. If they don’t get the ‘tingles’ with a flute then don’t buy it. If it’s a TJ then great. If it’s not a TJ then great! There is room in this world for all brands. How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business? The internet has made a huge difference to the music business by bringing every genre of music immediately to anybody who has access. One single video has the potential to make a person an internet sensation and change their lives! Pre-internet, the only way you could hear music was on the radio, recordings or via live music. The internet brings everything to you now. At this very moment. There are many things wrong with the web, but without the internet during the past 12 months of Covid-19 restrictions, there would be a complete silence of live communication, music teaching and online collaborations. Lockdown and the internet really have changed the face of music and communication for ever! Finally, what advice would you share with anyone starting in the music industry as a performer or business person? My advice for what it is worth, is to take a step back and observe. Look at what is working and what is ‘creaking’ in your playing or in your business approach! You may wish to invest more time and resources in social media accounts which is great, but what will make your account stand out? Check out all the possible areas of the music business. Does something in particular tick all the boxes and make you excited? Make sure that you have the resources, understanding and are really enthusiastic about a position before you apply for posts. Don’t be worried if you are lacking in experience as many areas of the music business can see ‘rough diamonds’ and will employ based around what they see as potential. If you don’t get a job, then reframe your thinking to being one step closer to getting your job or position. You will not have failed! Finally, and this is some personal advice. As a long time meditator, I recommend everybody try to always be in the moment. Fretting about what has gone on in the past can’t be changed. Worrying about the future is wasting time and mental energy as the future usually has a very different outcome to the worry or dream. By remaining in the present moment you will have a total understanding of what is required of you now. If there is something coming up to plan or practice for, then you should only focus on what you need to do now. There is nothing other than this very moment. Well having said that, that very moment is now history :-)! Remember when your mind starts chattering, “You are NOT your thoughts. Your thoughts are impermanent and NOT facts!” Smile, make peace with your weaknesses (I have many) and just go for it! ______________________________ About the Artist Jean-Paul Wright started the flute when he was 9 years old where he quickly found a passion for as he called it ‘The sideways blowing tube’. After the completion of his academic studies, he moved to London where he studied the instrument with wonderful flute players and teachers George Crozier and Jim Dower. In the years since, he claims, like many musicians, to have performed on radio and television in many of the major concert halls throughout the world. He has tutored and given masterclasses at flute events and conventions in the UK and also overseas. It was a moment of performance anxiety on a live BBC radio broadcast in 1984 which began what has turned out to be a long journey of understanding (which he is still on). He qualified as a Clinic Hypnotherapist 25 years ago and studied NLP with its co-creator Richard Bandler. He is a passionate advocate of ‘mindfulness’ for musicians and ‘Taming that pesky inner voice’. Since 1995, he has worked with well-known sportsmen, actors and musicians utilizing strategies to overcome a pending performance or event and has given many classes on ‘Calming the Inner Voice’, ‘Unhooking from thoughts’ and the use of ‘marginal gains’ for musicians using the mind as the root. On hitting 50, he decided to ease up a little and now spends his time attempting to get stripes on the lawn (it’s a very English thing), meditating, blowing bubbles, smiling and messing around with his beloved camera. For his day job, Jean-Paul is Managing Director and co-owner of the international musical instrument company Worldwind Music and is the global creative director for the TJ instrument brand. He is host of the popular ‘Talking Flutes’ podcast channel and is the creator of website for stressed and anxious musicians. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Worldwind Music Charitable Foundation. His interests are meditation, walking, reading, observing, definitely not taking himself too seriously and spending as much of his free time with his wife Jayne. (click here) Instagram @tjflutes (click here) Facebook @trevorjamesflutes (click here) Podcasts ‘Talking Flutes’ iTunes (click here) , Spotify (click here), SoundCloud (click here) , Podbean (click here) as well as most other podcast providers. Trevor James flutes are part of the Worldwind Music Ltd Company.

  • Practice Performing to Combat Nerves by Shantanique Moore, flutist

    I could place bets that you have experienced some type of nervousness around a performance or an audition if you are a performer. The nerves can show up before or during lessons, in rehearsal, and maybe most familiarly, before or during important performances. Feeling nervous before a performance can sometimes be debilitating. It could have us questioning our paths, wishing we could be better prepared (even when we have done all that we can), OR the nerves could energize us to give a great performance if they are handled well. The best thing we can do as performers is to get to know ourselves and how we respond to high pressure stimuli and then learn to train our minds to handle performance nerves by having a plan. I have found that keeping a journal of everything surrounding my performances and auditions – the preparation, the event itself, and the many feelings throughout the experience to be beneficial. When it comes to performing, making note on how I feel leading up to show time and after helps create better performances in the future. In this journal, I note how I felt during each stage of the performance: Were my palms sweating? Heart rate elevated? Did I have low energy levels? High energy levels? Were my thoughts scattered? Or was I in the zone? Once you recognize your patterns through journaling, you can devise a performance plan in anticipation of a high-pressure scenario. For example, if you notice that you get scatter brained right before you walk onto stage, device a plan, or a pre- performance ritual that you do every single time before a performance. Scatter brain is one-way my nerves show up for me and there are three ways I combat this: having pre- performance breathing exercises, visualization, and mock performances. I love to do a simple breathing exercise before performances and between pieces if I find myself nervous during the concert. What I do is: breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, and exhale for four counts. I do this as many times as needed to feel centered and present. Focus on the counting and breathing. If your mind wanders (heads up, it probably will), it is okay! Just gently bring your attention back to the breathing and counting. After I do my breathing exercise, I visualize myself walking onto stage. I then see myself sitting down in my chair or walking up to the music stand in an audition. I sense myself putting the flute to my face. I imagine myself going through my pre-excerpt routine or imagine colleagues in the orchestra sitting around me. I then imagine how it will feel and sound playing the given piece. This visualization helps calm my nerves prior to stepping on stage because in doing so, I have already created a successful performance in my mind. To take it a step further, practice the breathing exercise and visualization each time you give a mock performance or audition. The more you do this, the more confident you will feel on performance day. When it is time for you to take the stage for the real performance, you will have already performed your piece(s) for different audiences (family members, friends, colleagues, recording device, even pets). You will already know exactly what it feels like; you will know how your body reacts to the performance stimuli and you will have already created your rituals. You know exactly what to do when it is showtime! My most successful performances and auditions were preceded with successful pre-performance rituals to combat nerves. Performance is a practice, and we must practice performing. We will constantly be tweaking our approaches in hopes of delivering peak performances. Keeping a journal and having a plan each time you perform will help you get past those nerves. ______________________________ About the Author Flutist Shantanique Moore is the eighth recipient of a fellowship from the Pittsburgh Symphony's EQT Orchestra Training Program for African American Musicians (OTPAAM). Ms. Moore is an accomplished freelance musician and flute instructor. She has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, among others. Shantanique won First Prize in the 2016 Ervin Monroe Young Artist Competition. In 2012, Shantanique won the Wayne State Concerto Competition and in 2013, the Southern Great Lakes Concerto Competition. She has had the privilege of being invited as guest soloist on numerous occasions with ensembles such as the Birmingham Concert Band and Thurston High School's Honors Band, to name a few. During her studies at Wayne State University, she was awarded several musicianship and academic awards. An advocate for promoting musicianship and flute playing, Shantanique has served on the board of directors of the Southeast Michigan Flute Association as secretary and as the Flute Choir director. Her primary teachers are Sharon Sparrow, Laura Larson, and Carrie Wiesinger. She has played in Masterclasses for Mark Sparks, Robert Aitken, William Bennett, and Amy Porter. When not practicing and performing, Shantanique enjoys kayaking and catching up on her favorite television shows. More information about Ms. Moore can be found at

  • Performing During the Pandemic by Tyler Burchfield

    Thoughts and experiences on the time off and the adjustments upon return When live music and entertainment shut down as a result of COVID-19, we professional musicians had to re-imagine not just how we’d make up for the lost income, but how we’d stay connected to their craft and their musical communities. Although there’s no substitute for the real thing, many of us have come together and made remote online video performances, improved our online teaching logistics, and taken time to expand our skill sets. However, this summer and fall, as COVID-19 became a little more manageable and the weather was good for it, some of us got a sweet — albeit modified — taste of the gig life that had eluded them for the previous five months. As for myself, I went from March 9 to August 29 without playing live music with another human being. Since then, I’ve only done so about four other times. Since starting piano lessons in an ensemble-heavy studio at age four, I’d never gone more than a few weeks without playing music with another person, even if it was just my teacher. When my August 29 performance, a livestream from Shapeshifter Lab with the Bobby Spellman Nonet, was approaching, I imagined an emotional, cathartic reunion, not just with my bandmates, but with the music and the job as their own entities. There were fleeting moments where I felt those things. There were many other moments where it felt like I hadn’t missed a day. But one area that caught me off guard was that of the more tangible challenges that come with a return to performance during the ongoing pandemic. I consider most of these challenges to fall into two main categories: the logistical modifications required to put on a safe and legal performance and as the personal adjustments from having been out of the routine for so long. As far as logistics, Shapeshifter was required to follow specific protocols, including temperature checks, spacing requirements, mask mandate (except for wind instruments while playing), and a strict no food or beverage policy outside of water. I understand and am grateful for all of these policies. After all, as an extrovert, my instinct has been to ask during these times, “How can we do this safely?” rather than, “Should we do this?” That said, the sterile environment coming from greeting my bandmates with no more than a fist bump, having a thermometer pointed at my forehead, standing six feet apart from my fellow musicians on stage, and having to scarf down pizza around the corner was a tad jarring. I’m glad that the venue was large enough to accommodate nine musicians on the stage standing six feet apart, but it did create acoustical and interactive challenges that we’re not used to in the jazz environment. To contrast the strict legal protocols required to play Shapeshifter, when Dingonek Street Band decided to join the other brass bands’ attempts at busking in downtown Manhattan, the safety protocols were ours to impose upon ourselves (or not). Washington Square Park and the surrounding areas were generally peaceful, yet still very lively and dense with not-always-masked New Yorkers. While officials, including police officers, did not enforce mask ordinances or six-foot distances for bands (or seemingly anyone else), I still took it upon myself to perform in a paper mask with a hole cut out for the mouthpiece, so that my nose could still be covered. The facts and figures around aerosol travel through wind instruments are still being debated by those much more qualified than myself, so I considered it better to be safe than sorry. Dingonek parked at about a dozen spots around the West Village over the courts of about three hours, playing entirely for tips. In order to get the tips safely, one of us (usually me) took a grabber/pick-up tool (what do people call these things?), grabbed a candy bucket, and approached the listeners from a distance to solicit tips. Whether it was because they liked the music, appreciated the safety precautions, or simply got a kick out of the spectacle, it seemed to work! As for personal adjustments, my brain came up with a few entries of on-brand catastrophization that didn’t bear out. Will I remember how to play? Will I remember how to read? Will I be so overcome with emotion that I’ll forget what I’m doing? No on all three counts. But a few other unanticipated issues did come up. For one, the only playing I did from March to August was in my bedroom/home studio for teaching, practicing, or recording projects, and I did not guess that the routine of setting up at the venue would become rusty. It took me longer than usual to set up my horns and stands, and for a while, I was sure that I’d left my neckstrap at home, but thankfully I’d just set it aside in a way that I normally don’t. My page-staging game also turned out to be out of practice, which made it a little awkward on a couple songs. (Those of you who play long, multi-page arrangements know what I mean). Another major area of unanticipated difficulty was air support. I primarily perform on baritone sax, but as a teacher (and as a polite tenant in the work-from-home atmosphere) I kept most of my playing at home on alto sax and clarinet. As such, I hadn’t put in as much time on the bari as I was used to and I felt that my air support, and consequently, my tone and power suffered a little bit, especially on the low notes. To add to this, my brain and body weren’t used to performing — no stopping, no “punching in” on the recording software, etc. — for over an hour straight. This didn’t result in any major errors, but a little bit of sloppiness and almost-missed entrances for which I can forgive myself. The other people in each ensemble could relate. All things considered, I’m extremely happy to have gotten to play a few times between late August and mid October. Between an uptick in COVID cases and the colder weather, it doesn’t look like there will be many of these opportunities left for a while. I’ll have to be grateful for these experiences and remember the necessary adjustments for when things open up again. Until then, I’ll hunker down for a winter of online lessons and remote video collaborations. ______________________________ About the Author Brooklyn-based musician Tyler Burchfield is gaining critical acclaim on the East Coast as a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and teacher. Tyler’s experience ranges from small group improvisation to large ensemble composition and arrangement, utilizing a host of influences from the jazz, rock, soul, and classical traditions, emphasizing a sensitivity to melody and texture.  Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Tyler was exposed to many musical influences growing up, beginning Suzuki piano lessons at age 4 and listening to classic oldies on the car radio. Throughout middle and high school, he learned in many instruments, including guitar, bass, drums, flute, and clarinet, and ultimately chose saxophone as his primary performing instrument. After earning music degrees from the University of Miami and the New England Conservatory, Tyler spent the following five years as a freelance musician in Boston, as well as touring the United States and beyond. As a co-leader of the Burchfield-Vituri Project with Brazilian guitarist Pedro Vituri, he completed a Brazilian mini-tour in 2015 and released the ensemble’s debut album, Metonímia, in March 2018.  As a regular performer with Dan Gabel Music, Tyler showcased both his performing and arranging skills in traditional jazz settings, performing in every woodwind chair in the Abletones Big Band as well as the 10-piece High Society Orchestra. From 2014 to 2017, he was a regular, touring member of experimental Afro-funk powerhouse Big Mean Sound Machine, and appeared on their 2017 album Runnin’ for the Ghost. Since its inception in 2016, Tyler has been traveling the northeast with New York-based improvisatory brass project Dingonek Street Band, with whom he can be heard on baritone sax and percussion on their February 2018 debut album, Primal Economics. In addition to these projects, Tyler is a saxophonist, keyboardist, and musical director of one of New England’s most versatile wedding and event bands, The Ward Eights. As a commissioned composer and arranger, Tyler has written for big band, small jazz ensemble, chamber groups, full symphony orchestra, and pop bands. His arrangements have been played by the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Elise Roth and the Harvard Squares, and Dan Gabel and the Abletones, to name a few. In addition to performing and writing, Tyler has an active roster of private woodwind and piano students in New York and is on faculty at the Great Neck Music Conservatory. Tyler’s hobbies include adventurous home cooking, fantasy basketball, listening to podcasts, learning Portuguese, and spending time with friends, especially in Brooklyn, where he lives with his friendly cat, Franklin.

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  • Guilherme Andreas | Flutist

    GUILHERME ANDREAS BIO I’m a passionate and driven musician. I love to collaborate with other artists, perform solo or with an orchestra. If you ask my closest friends and family, they will tell you that I’m resilient, compassionate and that my laugh is one not to forget. I have lived in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Virginia, Baltimore, NYC and my passion for music and performing has taken me to the most wide-ranging places and audiences, from the prestigious Carnegie Hall to football stadiums. I have loved every single experience sharing my music as a flutist, singer, music director, arranger and orchestrator. You can find some of my recent performances here or on my social platforms. The love for diversity in music has been one of my passions as well. I have been an advocate for musicians of color and have been intentional about performing music written by lesser known composers, alongside other canonic works for the flute. You can listen to one of these works . That is pretty much it for now, but if you would like to access my formal bio here CLICK HERE. EVENTS PRESS MYTH AND LEGEND: PRELUDE AND DAPHNIS 06/25/2020 PIANIST AND FLUTIST SHOWCASE BRAZILIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC AT THE TRUST 03/14/2018 WHEREVER THE WOODWIND TAKES HIM 09/23/2018 MORE VÍDEOS BOOKING LESSONS MASTERCLASSES PERFORMANCES BLOG A Place Where We Can Share Ideas & Resources! CONTACT New York Thanks for your message! SEND

  • CONTACT | Guilherme Andreas | NYC

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  • PERFORMANCES | Guilherme Andreas

    PERFORMANCES KNOWN FOR HIS "POWERFUL SOUND, INTERPRETATION, AND, ENGAGING STAGE PRESENCE." Dr. Robert McCashin, Past (Founding)-President of the national College Orchestra Directors Association READ MORE BOOKING ENGAGEMENTS An avid performer, Guilherme brings with him solo, chamber, orchestral, and recording experience. Currently residing in NYC, Guilherme has previously played with the New England Symphonic Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, held a residency with Andrews University, and has also held the position of principal flute with the Brazilian Marine Wind Symphony in Rio de Janeiro among other positions. SOLO PERFORMANCES READY TO BEGIN THE BOOKING PROCESS? FOLLOW THE LINK TO GET STARTED. CONTACT

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