Lavender Jazz

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


A 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
Lavender Jazz Oscar Pettiford
Lavender Jazz Cole Porter
Lavender Jazz Charles Mingus

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2017-18 Concert Schedule

Lavender Jazz & All-Campus Band Fall Concert: Friday, November 17, 2017, 7:30 p.m., Sauder Concert Hall

Lavender Jazz & All-Campus Band Spring Concert: Friday, April 6, 2018, 7:30 p.m., Sauder Concert Hall