Jean-Christophe is a recently naturalized American citizen, born in Canada of French-Vietnamese descent who, since his arrival 10 years ago, has become one of Chicago’s most recognized Afro-Cuban musicians. A versatile percussionist and drummer, Jean-Christophe’s approach to performing embraces his ability to incorporate multicultural rhythms into non-traditional settings.
Since beginning his professional career as a freelance performer and educator, Jean-Christophe has worked in around the globe including but not limited to numerous locations in Canada, the U.S., Cuba, Poland, Israel, Morocco and Ecuador. He has been featured in a wide variety of locales including percussion conventions, arts festivals, theatre productions, studio recordings, and regularly drums for Afro-Cuban (Santeria/Palo) religious ceremonies.
Cuban music is not his only strength. He is well versed in West African, Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean styles of music. He relishes in adapting these diverse styles to compliment western musical settings as well as transferring these rhythms to drum set.
He has performed with artists of varied musical backgrounds including African, Cuban, jazz, funk and R&B. In recent years, he has had the honor of performing with many of his mentors such as Howard Levy, Lalo Schifrin, Israel “Toto” Beriel (Los Munuquitos de Matanzas), Michael Spiro, Skip Burney, Chuchito Valdez, Emilio Valdez and Miami Sound Machine.
Jean-Christophe also has extensive experience performing, directing and recording with dance and theater productions. He has provided live and recorded accompaniment for classes of multiple dance/movement genres including African, Cuban, Brazilian, modern, tap, jazz, yoga, capoeira and funk. He recently played percussion for the Gloria Estefan musical “On Your Feet”
Firmly committed to arts-education, he has provided musical instruction for universities, community centers, public schools and conservatories. He enjoys working with both aspiring musicians of all ages as well as professionals. Subsequently, his teaching venues range from his son’s elementary school to the University of Chicago.
Since his philosophy is that one should never stop learning, Jean-Christophe persistently strives to improve by seeking out and studying with masters of their respective idioms as often as possible.