Guitarist Bret Hoag (pictured, left) and flutist Jeff Zook (pictured, right) are colleagues and studio neighbors at Oakland University in Detroit. The two started out as mutual admirers, and ended up touring together.
Jeff enjoys finding challenging new arrangements for them to play. Bret enjoys telling Jeff to quit finding pieces written for the piano ("I keep throwing him piano parts," says Jeff, "and he keeps throwing them back."). Somehow, no matter the original instruments, they always come up with something compelling that works for both of them.
Bret and Jeff were in town for an "Around the World," themed concert at the Oliver Art Center, in conjunction with Chamber Music North. They treated us to three pieces Live in Studio A, including a Libby Larsen piece that Jeff performed on a flute d'amore. We discussed its eerie sound, and how the instrument had recently enraptured a group during a performance. "I felt like I just had everyone in the palm of my hand," said Jeff. I told him, "That's why it's called the Flute of Love." He replied, "Exactly, baby!"
Listen to the three pieces, below: the first movement of Piazzolla's Histoire du Tango, the Libby Larsen, and a piece from Enrique Granados originally written for piano, but transcribed for guitar (it seems Bret has a point about that whole piano-pieces-for-guitar thing, there.)