Frequently asked questions
Why are there seven flutists in CAFE?
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 2000's, musicians discovered that incorporating a contrabass into
the traditional ensemble enormously expanded the textural possibilities. In fact,
contemporary arrangers/composers began to highlight the contrabass sound in their
pieces by writing solos and including exposed passages for the instrument.
How long have you played together?
We created CAFE in 2014 because we love performing on our “specialty flutes.” There are only four contrabass flutes in Arizona, so the opportunity to showcase it in a small ensemble was too good to pass up!
What are your rates?
The base rate for a concert with seven performers is $375 for venues within the Valley of the Sun. There would be an additional fee to cover travel costs for concerts outside of metropolitan Phoenix. Our concerts typically run 60 minutes long, and include a Q&A exchange. We have been a part of all kinds of community occasions: award picnics, pre-dinner entertainment, a weekend activity, marketing events, and holiday celebrations.
Where have you played?
We have performed at the Desert Botanical Gardens, Tempe History Museum, at churches, and many public libraries throughout the Valley of the Sun. In 2019, we were showcased in the Globe/Miami Concert Series and Tempe's Arts in the Park event at Papago Park. Since 2014, we have visited dozens of senior communities, from Sun City to Scottsdale to Apache Junction. Because we have an enormous repertoire, we can visit communities multiple times without repeating any pieces!
Have you commissioned 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.
Don't all those high notes bother people who wear hearing aids?
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.
Is it proper to say flutist or flautist?
The humorous answer is that you can be called a flautist if your flute is worth more than $8,000. (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 flautist. I don’t have a flaut, and I’ve never flauted."