Thursday, January 2, 2014

Flutes flown

Canadian musician and part-time Brockton, Massachusetts, resident Boujemaa Razgui (IMAGE ABOVE) is a virtuoso flutist who performs regularly with the Boston Camerata and is scheduled to play with Camerata Mediterranea in February. He has crafted several of his instruments, including neys and kawalas, using special reeds and is one of only about 15 people in the U.S. who play these ethnic flutes. Razgui was flying back from Morocco to Boston over the holidays with stops in Madrid and New York with 13 of the instruments in his luggage. He says he has flown in and out of the country many times without a problem, but this time when he arrived at his destination the flutes were no longer in his bags and he was provided with a number to call. A U.S. Customs official at New York’s JFK Airport had mistaken the instruments for pieces of bamboo – a prohibited agricultural item – and destroyed them. And now they’re gone,” mourns Razgui. This is my life....They told me they were destroyed. Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. This is horrible. I don’t know what to do."

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