Catfish Jack Bio

Harmonica player Catfish Jack (aka Jack Chauvin) grew up in Oakland, California. He was originally inspired by the Chicago blues’ legends Little Walter, James Cotton, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Big Walter Horton and later fell under the trance of country players Sonny Terry, Charlie McCoy, and Mickey Rafeal. Catfish cut his teeth playing blues in the late 1980’s Oakland/Berkeley blues scene and during this time shared the stage with many Bay Area blues artists including Tommy Castro, Cool Papa, Birdleg, members of the Robert Cray Band, Big Bones and Charlie Musselwhite.

Catfish Jack has played with numerous bands up and down the West Coast and has gained a reputation as “a harmonica player of the highest order”. Along his travels he has had the pleasure of playing with one of his favorite bands, Los Lobos, at numerous Northern California venues including the historic Fillmore in San Francisco, the SF Blues Festival, the Wells Fargo Center and the Kate Wolf Festival. Recently his trio also opened for Los Lobos at the Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder, Colorado.

While living in Austin, Texas he began “sitting in” with the phenomenal Ruthie Foster and also had the privilege of playing with Zydeco master Terrance Simien, Johnny Cash’s piano player of twenty years, Earl Poole Ball, Seth Walker, the Mother Truckers, Sara Elizabeth Campbell and other Austin favorites.

In addition Catfish Jack has been teaching harmonica for over 20 years with students ranging from 5 to 70 years old. He has been a guest teacher and artist for the Austin chapter of Texas’ harmonica organization, H.O.O.T., and performed and led harmonica workshops at the Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival and the Wild Iris Music Festival in Northern California.


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