Returning to music after a 17-year hiatus, during which she raised a family, in 1999, Andrea Brachfeld quickly picked up where she had left off. With a self-produced CD, Remembered Dreams, in 1999, she showed her mastery of Latin and post-bop jazz. Brachfeld's musical talents have been obvious since earliest memory. Studying the piano for four years before switching to the flute at the age of ten, she attended the High School of Music and Art, where she met and played with Noel Pointer, Nat Adderely Jr., Dave Valentin, and Buddy Williams. By the age of 16, she had played her first jazz gig and had begun composing her own tunes. She continued to feed her quest to learn about the flute and music at Jazzmobile workshops, where her teachers included Jimmy Heath, and Jazz Interactions workshops, where Yusef Lateef, who taught flute, introduced her to world music. Graduating from high school in 1973, Brachfeld enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music, where her teachers included Harold Bennett and Andrew Lolya. A year later, she received the prestigious Louis Armstrong Award for outstanding jazz student. She also studied with Hubert Laws, Eddie Daniels, and George Coleman.
Beginning in the mid-'70s, Brachfeld was increasingly drawn to Latin music. In addition to playing with Tipica New York, the Benito Sextet, Charanga '76, Tipica Ideal, and Joe Quijana, she sat in with Latin music legends including Ray Barretto, Mchito, and the late Tito Puente. Brachfeld maintained her busy schedule following her graduation. Invited to perform in Venezuela, she remained in the South American country for two-and-a-half years, performing six nights a week with a Caracas-based jazz band. Returning to the United States, Brachfeld began recording advertising jingles and formed her own jazz combo. Although they opened shows for Gary Burton, Paco de Lucia, and Chick Corea, she left music to raise a family. Brachfeld signed with the San Francisco-based Spirit Nectar record label in 2001. ~ Craig Harris