April 4th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Flute master Zamfir surprises press corps


Watch Zamfir's performance.

BUCHAREST, Romania (CNN) - It wasn't exactly a typical last day at the NATO summit – at least not for some members of the White House press corps.

As President Bush and other world leaders gathered behind closed doors for private meetings, journalists monitoring the events from a nearby hotel were paid an unexpected visit from an American cult figure – Zamfir, master of the pan flute.

For those who may not remember, Gheorghe Zamfir is probably best known for the late 80s/early 90s commercials that aired on CNN.

(As several colleagues have said, Zamfir paid their salaries for a long time.) But Zamfir is a true musical maestro, with a host of Hollywood movie credits, including performing for the soundtracks of Kill Bill and the Karate Kid. (Who can forget those musical montages of Daniel Larusso training for the big tournament? That pan flute was Zamfir.)

How the Romanian musician came to visit the workspace is a story in itself. Basically, he's a friend of a friend of a local Romanian working for a U.S. television network. He planned to stop by the workspace for just a brief visit to say hello, but quickly had the press corps buzzing with excitement. I asked him afterwards what he thought when he walked in and received … well, a rock star's reception.


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