Lavender Jazz

Lavender Jazz Ensemble

Lavender Jazz is Goshen College’s big band. The group plays classic jazz standards and styles, such as swing, blues, world beat, be-bop, hard bop, New Orleans/Dixieland, and fusion. Lavender Jazz performs two concerts in Sauder Concert Hall each academic year, and other performances in a variety of settings both on and off-campus. The ensemble varies in size from year to year and is open to by audition to any Goshen College student regardless of major.

Chris French, Director

chris_french_webA versatile instrumentalist, Chris French is an accomplished clarinetist, saxophonist, and flutist. He received B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Juilliard School where he was a scholarship student of Leon Russianoff and Joseph Allard.  Concurrently with attending Juilliard, he studied jazz with Adolphe Sandole and Warne Marsh, and worked with traditional and modern jazz groups in New York City. After briefly playing with the Orquesta del Estado de Mexico, he returned to Los Angeles and continued playing jazz and classical music with symphony orchestras, Broadway show pit orchestras, and recording studios until 1997, when he moved to Goshen.

In addition to teaching at Goshen College, Mr. French is also on the faculty of Indiana University South Bend and St. Mary’s College. And plays regularly with classical and jazz performing groups in Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois. He has been featured soloist with the Elkhart Youth Symphony, Maple City Chamber Orchestra, Elkhart Municipal Band, St. Joseph band, Truth in Jazz, Elkhart Symphony and the Elkhart Jazz Festival.


Audio Samples

Title Performed by Composer
Blues in the Closet Lavender Jazz Oscar Pettiford
I’ve Got You Under My Skin Lavender Jazz Cole Porter
Nostalgia in Times Square Lavender Jazz Charles Mingus

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Upcoming Concerts

  • Lavender Jazz & GC All-Campus Band Fall Concert

    Oct 31, 7:30 – 9 pm

    Lavender Jazz, Goshen College’s big band directed by Chris French, will present a joint program in Sauder Concert Hall with the new GC All-Campus Band, directed by Dr. Christopher Fashun.

  • Lavender Jazz & All-Campus Band Spring Concert

    Mar 22, 2015, 4 – 5:30 pm

    Lavender Jazz, GC’s big band directed by Chris French, will present a joint concert with the GC All-Campus Band, directed by Dr. Christopher Fashun. Tickets are $7/5, available at the door one hour before the concert.