Chris French has joined the jj Babbitt Company’s team as director of engineering, according to an announcement by Steve Rorie, president. French will work directly with Rorie and Jim Green, vice president of manufacturing, in the areas of process quality and control, product quality and consistency, technology adaptation and new product design.
“I’ve worked directly with Chris intermittently since the mid-’90s,” Rorie said. “I believe he fits perfectly with our plans to develop and selectively introduce new technology while preserving and further perfecting the core elements of craftsmanship that are the hallmark of jj Babbitt’s iconic brands.”
Previously, French has held positions with The Selmer Company, as well as Eastman Winds, Gemeinhardt, Altus, and Powell Flutes. Prior to that, he lived in Los Angeles, Calif., where he was a regular performing musician with movie and recording studios. He played in Broadway shows and for many touring headliners including Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra Jr., and Henry Mancini. French also started a woodwind repair service and customization company, C. French Woodwinds, in Van Nuys, Calif., where he quickly drew a following of high-level professional players from all over North America. His music industry career includes orchestra positions with Mexico City and Filarmonica de Toluca, as well as guest appearances in Los Angeles, New York, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Orleans and Indiana. He holds both Bachelor and Masters of Music degrees from The Juilliard School in New York City.
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