The Alphorn: It’s Not Just for Swiss Shepherds Anymore

Travel Blog  •  Joanna Kakissis  •  09.29.08 | 12:23 PM ET

In fact, one 25-year-old jazz musician from Solothurn likes to play Prince, Amy Winehouse and Miles Davis on the 12-foot folk instrument—an act that has ruffled the feathers of Swiss traditionalists used to puffing out tunes like “With the Cows” and “On the Sheep’s Meadow.”

Eliana Burki, who fell in love with the alphorn at age 6, used to practice on a piece of garden hose affixed with a mouthpiece because her parents wouldn’t buy her a horn. Now an alphorn master, she’s played at trade fairs, shopping centers and concert halls in Ecuador, India, Germany and Taiwan, The Wall Street Journal reports, and now, she will be teaming up with Queen’s former producer to put out an album.

Joanna Kakissis's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, among other publications. A contributor to the World Hum blog, she's currently a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

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