Category Archives: News

Louis Moyse Dies

From the Rutland Herald, “Louis Moyse, one of the 20th century’s foremost flutists and a co-founder of Marlboro Music Festival, died Monday at Central Vermont Medical Center at age 94.” Louis Moyse was the son of Marcel Moyse, and a flute master in his own right. It is amazing that he had conducted his own arrangement of “Barber of Seville” just two weeks ago, in addition to teaching master classes. Amazing! Here is another article about his death.

Haynes Company Press Release

Wow, I received this submission from the actual Haynes company.Alan Weiss, Director of Sales & Marketing, writes

“Dr. Gerardo Discepolo, President
Di Zhao, Director of Manufacturing
Alan Weiss, Director of Sales & Marketing
February 25, 2004

Representatives of the William S. Haynes Company of Boston, Massachusetts officially announce the sale of the world’s oldest manufacturer of artist quality handmade flutes. Haynes, established in 1888, is now a subsidiary of Eastman Strings, Inc. based in Clarksburg, Maryland. Founder and owner of Eastman Strings, Qian Ni, brings to Haynes many years of experience as a concert flutist, business owner, and musical instrument innovator. Mr. Ni is committed to keeping the friendly family atmosphere which Haynes has nurtured for the past century. Haynes remains the only major flute manufacturer still making flutes in the city boundaries of Boston, and will proudly maintain its historic downtown Boston location.”

“Heading the new management team as President is Dr. Gerardo Discepolo. He is a renowned flutist and businessman, and comes to Boston from the Conn-Selmer Division of Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc., where he was the Manager of the Flute Division. Dr. Discepolo says, “The William S. Haynes Company makes extremely fine artist instruments which have been known for generations for their beauty of tone. I look forward to developing our contemporary flutes steeped in the rich Haynes tradition.”Director of Manufacturing is Di Zhao. Mr. Zhao is a flutist and craftsman with much experience and vision in making and designing fine quality flutes, most recently with Verne Q. Powell Flutes.

Rounding out the new management team as Director of Sales & Marketing is acclaimed flutist Alan Weiss. An experienced performer and former administrator and professor of flute at Boston University, Mr. Weiss will be readily available to assist flutists and dealers. According to Mr. Weiss, “It is a wonderful privilege to represent the finest flute company in existence. I have been a Haynes artist for many years and have always admired their creations.”The William S. Haynes Company is also pleased to announce the initiation of an annual flute competition open to all flutists age 30 and younger. The John C. Fuggetta Scholarship competition was founded in memory of the flute maker and former owner of Haynes. Three winners will be selected each year by a prestigious panel of adjudicators. First prize will be a gold flute, and second and third prizes will be silver flutes, all to be awarded at a ceremony in Boston.

The William S. Haynes Company is centrally located in the heart of downtown Boston in the Bay Village district. For more information regarding Haynes products, the John C. Fuggetta Scholarship, or a complimentary factory tour, please contact Alan Weiss at (617) 482-7456.”

EXTREME FLUTE’s New Release, “Scratch It!”

Bill McBirnie writes "EXTREME FLUTE
(A Bill McBirnie Production)
Scratch It!

--As a follow-up to Extreme Flute (A Bruce Jones/Bill McBirnie Collaboration), "Desvio", Bill McBirnie has released his first self-produced CD, "Scratch It!", in which he single-handedly executes every facet of the work from composition and performance through to engineering and mixing. The most striking element of the
production is, of course, his remarkable flute playing which includes performances on the entire family of flutes--C flute, alto flute, bass flute and piccolo."

"The repertoire covers an astonishing range of styles--from the salsa grooves of ?Crescent Wrench? to the impressionism of ?Free Diving?--complete with a host of idioms in between including the be-bopping on ?I?m Confessin?? to the hip-hopping on the title track, ?Scratch It!?

Bill is well known as one of Canada?s finest jazz flutists. However, this production reflects a breadth of ability and proficiency that cannot be gleaned from any of his previously recorded works. Accordingly, this CD will undoubtedly re-establish him as a
flutist of both consummate and comprehensive skill. Indeed, it is conceivable that many listeners will never have heard the instrument played in an improvisatory context with such flair and conviction.

On all levels, whether musical or technical, the quality of Bill?s playing is striking as it runs the gamut from sensuous to funky to dazzling. Both the range of material and the exceptional calibre of his performances yield a result that can be quite fittingly characterized as--EXTREME FLUTE.

Included in the CD are the following selections:

1-Crescent Wrench (4:48)
2-Find Your Place (5:57)
3-Scratch It! (6:15)
4-Canto de Escravo (Slaves Song) (Celso Machado-SOCAN) (3:22)
5-I?m Confessin? (Neiburg, Dougherty, Reynolds-ASCAP) (5:45)
6-Free-Diving (Version 1) (5:10)
7-Soul Survivor (4:31)
8-Canto de Escravo (Slaves Song) (Celso Machado-SOCAN)--Reprise (3:19)
9-Scratch It!--Reprise (3:48)
10-Missing You (4:40)
11-Honesty, Thrift & Industry (7:34)
12-Free-Diving (Version 2) (6:11)
13-Theme From Rocky & Bullwinkle (Frank Comstock-ASCAP) (0:24)
Bill McBirnie--Flutes & Piccolo, Miscellaneous Percussion, Composer-SOCAN (except where otherwise indicated), Producer, Engineering, Mixing
--Phone: (416) 652-1541

Interesting self promotion. Now, the last part has me interested. You seem to have done all this by yourself? Got clips?

Moe Koffman Dies

One of Canada’s best known and most respected jazz
musicians is dead. Moe Koffman died Wednesday afternoon from cancer at the age of 72. Best known for his catchy 1957 flute piece Swinging Shepherd Blues, Koffman gained an international following during his career.

Here is another article on his death.

TORONTO (CP) -- One of Canada's best known and most respected jazz
musicians is dead.

Moe Koffman died Wednesday afternoon from cancer at the age of 72.

Best known for his catchy 1957 flute piece Swinging Shepherd Blues,
Koffman gained an international following during his career.

Nonetheless he was for decades a regular fixture at the modest Toronto
jazz club, George's Spaghetti House.

Dave Milbourne, publisher of the newsletter Toronto Jazz, said a friend of
Koffman's confirmed the musician's death Wednesday afternoon.

"Canada has lost a music legend," Milbourne said.

Based in Toronto the city in which he was born, Koffman was admired
internationally for his mastery of the flute. He was also a talented
saxophone player and clarinetist.

A consummate musician, Koffman composed and arranged many of his own
pieces. All the while, he was regarded as one of Canada's busiest jazz
musicians, playing at clubs and jazz festivals all over the country.

Koffman was best known for his catchy 1958 flute piece Swingin' Shepherd
Blues. It was almost four decades later, that he was inducted into the
Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Rob McConnell, Koffman's longtime friend and leader of Canada's well-known
Boss Brass, hailed Koffman as a luminary.

"Moe was a marker for all of us in the music business in the years we were
in it together," he told the radio station CJRT.

He was a perfect example of "how to maintain your strength and versatility
throughout your career.

"He was just a really, really, really nice guy."

Koffman's last gig was with Boss Brass.

Koffman picked up his first instrument at the tender age of nine.

A formidable break in his career came in 1948 after he won a record deal
with New York's Mainstream Records from a magazine contest.

He recorded two records with the music house before moving back to Toronto.

He was a popular soloist who became known for his be-bop jazz style.

Koffman originally named his smash hit Blues a la Canadiana but it was
changed to Swingin' Shepherd Blues by a producer.

He received the Order of Canada in 1993 for his outstanding work and
service to the arts.


Swinging Shepherd Blues, 1958.
Little Pixie, 1958.
Swingin' Shepherd Blues (re-issue), 1973.

Hot And Cool Sax, 1957.
The Shepherd Swings Again, 1958.
Moe Koffman The Swinging Shepherd Plays For Teens, 1962.
Tales Of Koffman, 1962.
The Moe Koffman Quartet, 1963.
Moe Koffman Goes Electric, 1967.
Turned On Moe Koffman, 1968.
Moe's Curried Soul, 1970.
Moe Koffman Plays Bach, 1971.
Vivaldi's Four Seasons, 1972.
Master Sessions, 1973.
Sorcerer's Dance, 1973.
Solar Explorations, 1974.
Best Of Moe Koffman, 1975.
Live At George's, 1975.
Jungle Man, 1976.
Museum Pieces, 1977.
Things Are Looking Up, 1978.
Back To Bach, 1979.
Best Of Moe Koffman Volume I, 1983.
Best Of Moe Koffman Volume II, 1983.
If You Don't Know Me By Now, 1983.
The Magic Flute, 1985.
One Moe Time, 1986.
Moe-Mentum, 1987.
Oop-Pop-A-Da, 1988.
Moe Koffman Quintet Plays, 1990.
Music For The Night: Symphonic, Chamber & Pop Interpretations Of The Music
Of Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1991.
The Moe Koffman Collection, 1992.
'1967,' 1993.

9000 year old flute

There is a great article about a 9000 year old bone flute that was discovered in the 1980s in China. Pretty interesting stuff. Some of the highlights are:

  1. The form of Jiahu flutes: There are five or six holes in bone flutes of the early period; seven holes on most flutes of the middle period; and seven or eight holes in the latest period.
  2. The concepts of “scale” (Shu) and “temperament” (Lu) in making the Jiahu bone flute: flutes of each period had some changes in the arrangement of scale and this indicates that our Jiahu ancestors already had certain temperament standards when making different tones.
  3. Why the world of musical research is amazed by the accuracy of the tuning system of the Jiahu bone flute number 341:2: The method of hole-drilling and the arrangement of the five-tone scale demonstrate that, at that time, the practice of Chinese music had already entered a completely new realm.
  4. The inheritance and selectivity of musical culture: during a continuous period of 1200 years, Jiahu musical production developed from a four-tone scale to a seven-tone scale through successive changes, and from complexity to a high level of simplicity, and this trend bears an important significance to modern musical composition.