Program Notes by Laurel Zucker
A Night In Quito was composed in 2010 in Equador while on route to the Napo Lodge on the banks of
the Napo River, a tributary of the Amazon River. Quito is a big Latin American City with a large indigenas
population along side a contemporary-looking population. Quichua speaking women in colorful traditional
clothing, with their babies held in a blanket high on their backs, walk the streets. Desperate boys
selling goods and shining shoes in ragged clothing never let you forget that this is a city of many impoverished
people who live next to wealthy Equadorians. A small museum of Indigenas art, a small music
shop with hundreds of wooden flutes of all sizes on a noisy cobble-stoned street, a small quiet square in
the busy city with only small birds fluttering about, are a few images that inspired my composition.
Elle Valle (Panama) is quiet country place inside of Panama. I was staying in a lodge with my friend,
Becky, and several great Canadians spending a few days laughing and watching many colorful birds at
the feeders. Banaquit, Green Honeycreepers, Blue Dacnis, Flame-throated Warblers, Yellow-crowned
Euphonias, Emerald Tanagers, Yellow-faced Grassquits, Blue-black Grosbeak, Slate-colored Seedeaters,
Scarlet-rumped Cacique were all singing and competitively vying for food at the feeders which were
filled with all kinds of colorful fruits. When we walked around we saw sloths, that look so human, high
up in trees sleeping. My relaxing composition mirrors so many images I heard and saw in Panama.
Monk’s Funk was inspired by Theolonius Monk’s great jazz tunes. After playing many of Theolonius
Monk’s tunes in a Sacramento coffee house with The Third Floor Jazz Club, I composed my piece thinking
of the interesting intervals, short melodic themes and rhythmic style in which Monk composed.
Strawberry Jump was composed after playing many jazz classics named after fruits like Watermelon
Man and Cantalope Island. I noticed that these tunes all had a sugar-coated sound so I composed
my own fruit-like piece. In the middle of my composition Jim Martinez plays an amazing jump style
Belizean Winter was originally composed with a high-energy electronic latin percussion sound to
it. When we rehearsed together my composition morphed into a very different sounding piece than I
expected. I composed this piece while in a town called Chan Chich in the remote jungle of Belize. We
took a small plane from Belize City and then drove to Chan Chich. A few days after we arrived there
was a huge flood that came from hurricanes in Mexico and Honduras. The bridge that connected us
to our car and plane washed out so we were watching the waters get higher and higher waiting for
the floods to take over Chan Chich. Curiously the sun was shining hot and no rain fell the entire time
we were there. We had a great time and I will be returning to play flute concerts there this November
2010. *Kim Davis,flutist, played 2nd flute on Belizian Winter.
Laurel Zucker-Virtuoso Flutist
Laurel Zucker, flautist is described by Gramophone Magazine 2003 “as polished and
gratifying as Rampal and Galway. Zucker’s interpretations are splendid all round. Her
tone is airy and sweet, her virtuosity graceful….“intelligent, naturally phrased and
highly musical with a rich sound beyond reproach.” In the 2003 book, Inspirational
Stories from the World’s Best Flute Players, Laurel Zucker is featured along with Paula
Robison, Herbie Mann, Ian Andersen, Julius Baker. Fanfare Magazine refers to Ms.
Zucker “as a forceful advocate for 20th century music,” and when she was awarded
the Aaron Copland Fund for Music from the American Music Center to record the
1998 Take a Walk on the Wilder Side–CD, Fanfare Magazine stated “this disc fills an
important niche in American Music and flute literature.” With 47 CD releases now
available on Cantilena Records, Ms. Zucker is heard regularly on classical radio
stations. As an active chamber artist she has performed with the Marlboro Festival
& Tour, Music Fest of Arizona, Music in the Mountain etc…Ms. Zucker received THE
BEST CLASSICAL INSTRUMENTAL SOLO ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2006 AWARD from JPF
Awards. In 2000 Year of the Rome Aureole Jubilee, hosted by the city of Rome and
the Pope, 3 Cantilena Records CDs featuring Ms. Zucker were played non-stop for
over 6 months throughout the largest Convention Center in Rome, Italy & featured
on a UCLA Documentary on the Santa Maria Maggiora Chapel of Rome. As Professor
of Flute at California State Univ., Sacramento since 1988, Ms. Zucker received 1998
President’s Award for Creative & Scholarly Research, 1998 & 2000 Creative Research
Awards, & 1989 Professional Promise Award. In 1978 she won Artists International
Competition & gave her Carnegie Recital Hall Debut. Ms. Zucker graduated from
Juilliard where she studied with Samuel Baron. Her compositions are published by
Clear Note Publ., Bourne Music Co., & Lyra Music.
The composer and flutist is Laurel Zucker; the pianist is Jim Martinez, the bassist is Paul Klempau, the drummer is David Rokeach. Leslie Ann Jones is the engineer for this recording at Skywalker Studios. Paul Stubblebine mastered the CD.
A very special thank you to Kim Davis. Thank you to Rebecca Houseman, my constant traveling companion in South and Central America.
The cover art is titled Streets of Quito / Calles de Quito, by the Equadorian photographer, Chaulafanita. Celeste Rusconi created the graphic design on the CD. Laurel Zucker and Kim Davis play on Brannen Flutes.
1 A Night in Quito by Laurel Zucker (2010)..........3:37
2 Elle Valle (Panama) by Laurel Zucker (2009).....5:26
3 Monks Funk by Laurel Zucker (2010)................4:18
4 Strawberry Jump by Laurel Zucker (2010)........3:37
5 Belizian Winter by Laurel Zucker (2009)...........2:07
Total Time: 19:24
Cantilena Records © 2010 Cantilena Digital Recording
Printed in the U.S.A. DDD
©2010 All Rights Reserved by Laurel Zucker & Cantilena Records
Recorded at Skywalker Studio in Marin county, California April 2010
Produced by Leslie Ann Jones
Mastered by Paul Stubblebine May 2010
All Compositions written and owned by Laurel Zucker in 2009-2010.
Laurel Zucker plays Brannen Flutes
Dedicated to Rebecca Houseman, my constant travel companion
Cover image Streets of Quito / Calles de Quito, by Chaulafanita