MUSIC PROFILECarina Bruwer - Pop-rock flautist
Classically trained and multi award-winning
… But schooled by life!
“In Carina’s hands, the flute is far from a delicate, conservative instrument, IT’S PURE ROCK!”
One of the most unique flute players in the world today, Carina Bruwer is praised far and wide for her phenominal technique combined with her idiosyncratic improvisation skills and soulful interpretations rarely associated with this instrument. Carina, who holds a BMus (Hons) cum laude and is also the leader and founder of Sterling EQ – the the SAMA Award-winning all-woman trio known for coining the genre “instrumental pop” through their unique take on instrumental music – has recorded on over a dozen albums, performed in 15 countries both solo and as part of Sterling, and won numerous awards for her work across the board, from purely Classical to crossover, instrumental pop and contemporary.
With her signature style, Carina breaths new life into iconic songs such as Europa (Santana), While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Beatles), Fragile (Sting), Feeling Good (Nina Simone), and many more – she draws her inspiration from songs where the melody is independently able to convey the mood of the song, and she takes it one step further with her passionate and virtuosic playing. With the use of her groundbreaking slide flute, she is able to make a traditionally delicate instrument sound truly rock-pop! At the same time, she offers spirited performanes of the latest billboard hits such as Shape of You (Ed Sheeran), Despacito (Fonsi), Never be The Same (Camila Cabello) and New Rules (Dua Lipa) amongst many others.
Her repertoire is extensive and also includes an array of instrumental Jazz, World music, modern day pop, and wedding favourites. She is also able to play any piece of music from the Classical repertoire, and always happy to source and arrange special requests from any style genre!
Carina received the degree BMus (Hons) cum laude from the University of Stellenbosch in 2003, majoring in solo performance and winning numerous awards and bursaries throughout her studies. She also holds a UNISA Performers Licentiate which she received with highest distinction. While a student at the Stellenbosch Conservatoire, she annually received academic excellence awards, numerous Conservatoire prizes and bursaries, and in 2002 she was awarded Academic Colours from the University. During her final years at University, she took Jazz lessons and performed with local Blues and Jazz artists to broaden her musical palette.
As a soloist, Carina has won numerous music awards, including the ATKV Muziq Category Prize, Distell Music Prize, Huguenot Prize, UNISA Overseas Study Bursary runner-up prize, plus various SAMRO prizes and a Kanna award nomination. She has performed as soloist with the Cape Philharmonic, Kwazulu Natal Philharmonic and University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestras.
In 2008 she founded Sterling EQ, with a consistently busy diary taking her across the world. This all-woman three-piece is known for changing the face of instrumental music in South Africa and beyond with their extraordinary fusion of virtuosity and fresh beats. The group boasts four successful releases – all of which were executive produced by Carina – plus 3 major music awards (SAMA, Tempo and Ghoema Awards), over 800 live performances since 2008, and thousands of followers worldwide. They have performed in 11 countries and for live audiences of up to 40,000, and on live broadcasts to millions of global television viewers, collaborated and shared stages with international artists, and received reviews form international publications such as The Guardian (UK), while regularly receiving song submissions from top international songwriters and instrumental music producers.
Other highlights include directing and touring her own Classical crossover productions, performing and recording for diverse musical groups (most of which she also managed), including Afro-Cuban Salsa band Salsa Candela, the light-Classical ACE Quartet, and flamenco group Casta Alma; appearing as guest soloist with various groups and orchestras including The KZN Philharmonic and Cape Philharmonic, and doing sessions for various artists across the world.