Rodolfo Vazquez Reflects on Playing Flute for More Than 40 Years

By Nicholas Dekker, marketing, communications and events administrator at GCAC

Rodolfo Vazquez is a flutist and instructor originally hailing from Mexico. He’ll be performing a free concert with Flautango on Sunday, Feb. 25 at First English Lutheran Church.

Nick: How did you get started in your art form? What do you remember about first being intrigued by it?
Rodolfo: I got started singing chorus with a friend’s band with music by the Beatles in middle school. I have been learning English since kindergarten and I could remember the lyrics from the radio. Early Beatles songs weren’t masterpieces but I liked them.

Nick: Who are some of your inspirations?
Rodolfo: Two things really inspire my flute playing. First the excellence, expression, technique, tone and musicianship my flute teacher Sir James Galway reaches every time I hear his playing; and second the color, diversity, rhythms and meaning that Latin American music delivers in a performance.

Nick: Since you’ve been playing for so long, do you incorporate a lot of styles in your performances?
Rodolfo: I am a proficient flutist at this point in my life that I can pick any piece of music I like and learn it, arrange it and make it part of my repertoire to be performed in concert locally or on tour. From tangos by Piazzolla to the Carmen Variations by Borne to folk tunes from Mexico to Joropos from Venezuela. Everything is fair game in my repertoire.

Nick: What question do you get asked most often about your art, and how do you answer?
Rodolfo: The question I get ask the most is how long I have been playing flute and if I make my living doing it. The answer is more than 40 years and I do make my living playing music. I am not a rich man with two divorces and five kids, but I am incredibly lucky I get to do what I really love every single day.

Nick: What’s something about your art that you think might appeal to someone who’s never seen it before?
Rodolfo: What is the most appealing thing about Flautango’s performances is the high quality of the performance combined with a universe of color and forms in the music that we play. It’s surprising to people who hear us for the first time.

Nick: What’s on your current playlist?
Rodolfo: Currently in my play list are tangos, Mexican folk tunes, huapangos, joropos, Cuban music, Spanish tunes and classical music from Europe, especially France.

Nick: What do you do to relax or unwind?
Rodolfo: To relax I love to listen to jazz from the American singer Jane Monheit and the Canadian Diana Krall. I love cinema, especially Italian and non-commercial movies.

Nick: What are 1-2 of your favorite things about Columbus?
Rodolfo: I love Columbus in the summer. It is a beautiful place like the parks in Riverside Drive on the Scioto. That is one of my favorite spots and the amazing variety of food you can find in Columbus including Italian, Thai, Middle Eastern and especially Mexican taco trucks.

See Rodolfo Vazquez in a free concert with Flautango on Sunday, Feb. 25 at First English Lutheran Church, 1015 E. Main St.

This article is part of a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council as part of the Art Makes Columbus campaign. Explore a calendar of events, public art database and artist stories at columbusmakesart.com. To learn more about GCAC grants visit gcac.org.


Comments are closed.