French Quarter Elkhart Jazz Festival 2018 program notes
French Quarter returns to the Elkhart Jazz Festival for their fourth consecutive year, delighting audiences with a creative approach to jazz standards, new pieces, and group improvisation.
Leading the group is clarinetist and saxophonist Chris French, whose musical career extends from New York to Los Angeles. French has performed alongside world class musicians, including Tony Bennett, Henry Mancini, Frank Sinatra Jr., Bobby McFerrin and Lalo Shiffrin.
Virtuoso guitarist Rafael Chávez y Moreno has performed across the United States with Lalo Cura and Kansas Bible Company. He was featured at Bonnaroo Music and Austin City Limits Festivals, and Pilsen Fest in Chicago.
Percussionist, educator, and composer Ben Runkel was a winner of the WAMSO Young Artist Competition, he has been featured soloist with the St. Paul Civic Symphony, Northern Indiana All-Star Band, and the Northern Illinois University Philharmonic.
Bringing a solid foundation to French Quarter, along with a wealth of musical ideas, is bassist Sean Patrick. An accomplished cellist and conductor, Patrick performs regularly with nearly every classical and jazz ensemble in the area.
The musicians of French Quarter are devoted educators; they can be found on the faculty at every college and many high schools in Michiana.