The Warbird Quartet

The Warbird Quartet

BandRock

The Warbird Quartet is a young jam band that presents genres such as jazz, bluegrass, classical, and funk while keeping the energetic nature of rock at the forefront of their shows.

Biography

Improvisation plays a substantial role in live performances, and the type employed is generally "group" style, rather than a series of solos. Vocal harmonies are common, and are informed by the group's studies in choral and barbershop harmony. If one style is required to describe the group, they are a rock band. The live performances are designed to create the energy of rock and roll, and their music aligns with the historically diverse definition of rock. The cover tunes in the band's repertoire span a similar range as their influences, from jazz and bluesy rock to reggae and funk.

The band's primary vocalist and guitar player, Ryan McQuen, 22, started playing guitar at a young age and has been teaching guitar for several years. Ryan studies vocal performance at Judson College. The bass player, Tristan Crockett, 20, studied bass and music theory at Elgin Community College and now attends Illinois State University. Pete Steele, 19, has been drumming for eleven years, and works as a session drummer and a pit orchestra drummer for theatrical productions. Pete studies percussion at Columbia College in Chicago. The keyboard player, Damon Crockett, 24, has been playing jazz-style piano for four years, and studied music for two years at Elgin Community College. Damon attends the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The band has played area venues including the Clearwater Theater in Dundee, the Steel Beam Theater in St. Charles, Floyd's Tavern in Carpentersville, and several private engagements. Damon, Ryan, and Tristan have been playing together for many years, and have played in nearly all the area venues, including Anthony's, The Checkered Flag, and Booker's Backyard in Elgin, Last Shot Bar and Grill and King James Barbecue in South Elgin, Cheeseburger in Paradise in Algonquin, Chantrelle's in Bartlett, and Kava Kava in East Dundee, among others.

In late 2006, they began to branch out into the Bloomington-Normal area, competing in the Illinois Statue University Battle of the Bands, and playing at the Illinois Brewing Company. They have played for crowds as large as 300, and typically draw 25-50 at a given show. The band has played with many local and regional acts including the Super American Happy Fun Good Time Jam Band, Tripping Billies, Doppler Shift, Dave Tamkin, Catchstone, and many others.

Discography

The Warbird Quartet LP - 2006, self-released

Set List

Shows range from one to three sets each, with each lasting about an hour, barring any time restrictions. We mostly play originals - some from the Warbird Quartet LP, some unreleased. About one-quarter of the sets may be made up of covers. Artists covered often include Phish, Jaco Pastorius, and The Meters.