The Section Quartet challenges traditional ideas of the string quartet. TSQ doesn’t play classical music -- they only play rock & roll!
By day, The Section Quartet is in-demand for both recording studio collaborations and electrifying live performances alongside music’s top artists and producers. But by night, this rock band-disguised-as-a-string-quartet has sold out shows from their native Los Angeles to New York, London and beyond, including Coachella Music Festival main stage shows in 2004 and 2006. TSQ’s own visionary arrangements and high-powered live shows confirm that you don’t need a guitar to rock.
The Section Quartet’s critically acclaimed album, FUZZBOX, includes strikingly re-imagined tracks by Radiohead, the Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Postal Service, Failure, Soundgarden, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Muse, but their ever-expanding repertoire also includes full-album re-creations of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Radiohead’s landmark albums OK Computer and The Bends and Elliot Smith’s Either/Or.
The quartet was originally conceived only as a studio entity. Violinist/arranger Eric Gorfain, having toured with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, was called upon to write string arrangements for a Led Zeppelin string quartet tribute album. He drafted cellist Richard Dodd for the project, which was released on a small indie label in 1998. Dodd had worked with artists such as Lowen and Navarro, The Bangles and The Three O’Clock, just to name a few, and the two bonded over their mutual interest in rock music.
Gorfain: “That’s when I had the idea to put together a studio string group to play recording sessions. What would make this group unlike typical session players is that the people involved would still be classically trained, but with a real knowledge of and enthusiasm for rock music. I dubbed the concept ‘The Section’, as in the string section on a recording session.” This group went on to record Gorfain’s growing list of strings-only adaptations including the music of Tool, Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails and, most notably, Radiohead.
Violinist/arranger Daphne Chen joined The Section Quartet in 2001 after establishing herself as a versatile musician both in the LA studio and avant-garde music scenes and with the East LA-based Latin rock band Quetzal. Violist Leah Katz also joined in 2001, but left for a few years to explore other musical and personal pursuits, during which time she became a music education entrepreneur while staying active playing on film scores for some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. With the original lineup now reunited, The Section Quartet enters its 19th year.
The Section Quartet has collaborated on stage and in the studio with diverse artists such as Iggy Pop, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Fiona Apple, Snow Patrol, Banks, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Aerosmith, Devendra Banhart, Sam Phillips, Grant-Lee Phillips, Christina Aguilera, Cassandra Wilson, Maroon 5, Jenny Lewis, A Perfect Circle, James Blunt, Ryan Adams, Future Islands, Beach Fossils and Dr. Dre, just to name a few.
Branching into the film world, The Section Quartet scored Drew Barrymore’s 2009 directorial debut, Whip It.