Jigzag

BAND MEMBERS

GREG BRYCE:   Acoustic guitar, open-stringed slide guitar, vocals, song-writing

LIZ FRENCHAM:   Acoustic stand-up bass, vocals, song-writing

CAROLINE TRENGOVE:   Violin, viola, flute, vocals, song-writing

In 1996, after returning to Sydney from a 5 year hiatus travelling the world and studying yoga and meditation, Greg formed an acoustic trio called Jigzag with Liz Frencham on double-bass/vocals and Caroline Trengove on violin, viola, flute and vocals. Jigzag went on to entertain festival and concert audiences with their special and exhuberant brand of folky/pop until the end of 2009. Their music was a very unique blend of folk/pop/blues/jazz and world music that drew from the eclectic backgrounds of the 3 players. The songs were intentionally uplifting and drawn from personal experience and combined with their high-octane instrumentals provided an entertaining show that won them awards and had audiences on their feet with exhilaration from Woodford to Port Fairy Festivals and beyond to international festivals in Canada, UK, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand and New Caledonia. Although they are no longer performing as a band, their music is still available on CD and they’re planning a reunion show at Wintermoon Spring Festival, QLD in September 2018.

During their time together they recorded 4 studio albums, a live album and a ‘live’ DVD. Greg wrote and co-wrote many songs with this unique team of musicians and the band was a highlight of his musical career. He said “I loved the rhythmic energy that could be created with this band without the use of drums. I also loved the 3 part vocal harmony. Writing, touring and performing with these 2 great musicians taught me a lot and inspired me to improve as a writer and instrumentalist.”

AWARDS
  • “Best Live Act” 2006 NATIONAL FOLK AWARDS
  • “Best Contemporary Release” for “Jigzag Live” TRAD AND NOW MAG 2007
  • “Best Band” GOLDEN FIDDLE AWARDS, 2009
FESTIVAL APPEARANCES: INTERNATIONAL
  • Kuopio Festival, Finland 2006
  • The Islands Folk Festival Vancouver Island Canada (2003)
  • The Skagen Celtic Festival Skagen Denmark (2003)
  • The Leamington Peace Festival Leamington Spa United Kingdom (2003)
  • Femme Funk Festival Noumea New Caledonia (2002)
  • Christchurch Folk Festival, New Zealand (2004)
  • Dunedin Folk Festival, New Zealand (2005)
FESTIVAL APPEARANCES: NATIONAL
  • National Woodford Folk Festival QLD Australia (1998 – 2009)
  • The National Folk Festival ACT Australia (2000, 2002, 2003 ,2006, 2007)
  • National Blues Festival, Goulburn (2004)
  • Fairbridge Folk Festival WA Australia (2002, 2007)
  • Port Fairy Folk Festival VIC Australia (2001, 2003, 2007)
  • Caloundra Music Festival, Qld (2007)
  • Famous Speigeltent Sydney, NSW (2005)
  • Black Stump Festival, Sydney/Wollongong (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008)
  • Mount Beauty Music Festival (2004, 2007, 2009)
  • Wintermoon Festival, Mackay,Qld (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
  • Palm Creek Festival, Townsville, Qld (2006, 2008)
  • Apollo Bay Festival (2003)
  • Maldon Festival, Vic, (2003, 2007)
  • Nannup Festival, WA (2004)
  • Dorrigo Bluegrass Festival (2005, 2006)
  • The National Celtic Festival Port Arlington VIC (2003)
  • Beechworth Celtic Festival VIC Australia (2001, 2002)
  • Kilmore Celtic Festival VIC Australia (2001, 2002)
  • Yungaburra Folk Festival Far North QLD Australia (2002, 2007)
  • Kapunda Celtic Festival SA Australia (2000)
  • The Illawarra Folk Festival NSW Australia (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Festival of a Thousand Voices SA Australia (2000)
  • Majors Creek Folk Festival NSW Australia (2000, 2001)
  • Cobargo Folk Festival (2000, 2001)
  • Folk, Rhythm and Life Festival, Vic (2004, 2005)
DISCOGRAPHY
  • The Offering-CD released Dec 1999
  • 30 Seconds of Happiness-CD-released April 2002
  • Jigzag Live-CD-released 2004
  • In The Middle-CD-released 2006
  • Jigzag, Flying Live-DVD-released 2008
  • Heart-Shaped House-CD-released 2009
WEB:

www.jigzag.com

www.myspace.com/jigzag


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Live performance is Jigzag’s lifeblood so it’s nigh tantamount to stating the bleeding obvious to say that the new album shows off their best qualities. Recorded before a studio audience in Melbourne and at festivals in Victoria and Queensland, “Live!” stands as eloquent testimony to the Sydney trio’s stage artistry. Having had the onerous task of following them at a festival in Denmark last year, this reviewer/muso can speak first-hand of their ability to entertain!
 
As a unit Jigzag are as tight as a jigsaw, though there’s always space for spontaneity. It's a perfect blend of instrumental skills and voices. Greg Bryce (guitar), Elisabeth Frencham (upright bass) and Caroline Trengove (violin/viola) fit together like interlocking pieces. They read each other’s moves like reef fish. All innovative players and singers, lead and harmony, they also have a flair for writing catchy yet thought-provoking songs. Their folky pop contains bright splashes of jazz, blues, classical and Celtic. At the core of Live! is Bryce’s anthemic 30 Seconds of Happiness’, with a veritable busker’s songbook as the meat in the sandwich (there’s quotes from just about everything, from My Sharona to Smoke on the Water). The spectacular gypsy romp Misirlou, featuring Trengove’s soaring violin, is another proven show-stopper. Frencham shines on Man of Wood, her love song to Sebastian (her upright bass). Jigzag change rhythms and feels with an ease that is the hallmark of top flight musicianship. Deft use of dynamics and spine-tingling harmony is the icing on this particularly tasty cake.

Tony Hillier Rhythms Magazine’ September 18, 2014

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It takes a particular talent to remove the stitching of various musical cloth and thread together a tapestry that feels as if it’s seamless and natural. Jigzag have that singular talent. This, their second album, is not easily classifiable, and nor should it be. The trio – of guitar, violin and double bass – blend acoustic folk, pop, Celtic, jazz and even country swing; these streams flow into a river that glistens on the surface with sunlight, yet has a musical and emotional depth to it. The album kicks off with the infectious joy of the title track, which was born from busking days in Sydney. Man of Wood, a piece of jazz bravado, follows, written and sung by Liz Frencham, it shows the ease with which this trio can handle a change of direction.

Interspersed with the originals are interpretations of Celtic instrumentals, including a melancholy and mood-riven version sung by Caroline Trengove of She Moved Through the Fair. The musicianship, whether ensemble or soloing (guitarist Greg Bryce’s switch from one style to another mid-song is impressive) is of a constantly high level. The harmonies show a special chemistry, no more so than on Between the Darkness and the Deep, an achingly tender ballad. The coalescence of voices sends shivers down the spine, and there’s no greater tribute to musicians than that they can make ring, like a spoon on a glass, a resonant chord within.

Warwick McFadyen The Sunday Age, Melbourne September 18, 2014

Jigzag were a revelation! This three-piece high energy band from Sydney combine Celtic snap, heartfelt ballads and punchy folk with energetic, joyful stage presentation.  See them if you ever can.  Buy their CD.  It's on the web.

Steve Baker Review of Tablelands Folk Festival Yungaburra, Qld September 18, 2014

I was stuck in traffic today on the way to work with ‘30 Seconds of Happiness’ up loud on the car CD player, and I was the only one smiling.

Steve Barnes Radio RTR FM Perth; Artistic Director, Fairbridge Folk Festival September 18, 2014

One of Australia's most popular acoustic Festival bands, Jigzag are a gifted trio that's a must see on the festival circuit.  They're wonderfully eclectic, energetic and thought provoking all at the same time.

Nick Charles Rhythms Magazine, Feb. 2008 September 18, 2014

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Fairbridge Festival Referral

Steve Barnes Artistic Director, Fairbridge Festival September 18, 2014

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National Folk Festival Referral

Graham McDonald Program Manager, National Folk Festival September 18, 2014

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Acoustic trio Jigzag, who are based in Sydney when they aren't touring (which isn't very often, by all accounts), are beginning to create ripples around the country which could easily become Waif size waves in the not too distant future. Like The Waifs, they first caught this reviewer's eyes and ears at the last Woodford Festival, where they were one of the stand-out acts. The good impression was more than confirmed during a recent tour in Queensland's Far North.

An act honed during countless hours busking at Sydney's Central Station, Jigzag are perhaps best judged in a live context, where their sheer vivacity, musicality and inherent ability to entertain truly shines. 30 Seconds of Happiness, never the less, is an accurate representation of their current sets. The album features the group's cleverly conceived and arranged folk and jazz coloured pop songs interspersed with similarly well thought out medleys of Celtic tunes, some old favourites; others composed by Jigzag's fiddle whiz, Caroline Trengove. Their swing approach to jigs and reels brings to mind Scotland's The Easy Club. Guitarist Greg Bryce and double bassist Liz Frencham have similar mastery of their instruments. Together, the three members create perfect 3 part harmony, making Jigzag a very well matched trio.

Vocally, Bryce shines on the co-penned title track and on his own song, These Feelings. Frencham's lovely voice can be heard in all its glory on her outstanding songs, Man of Wood (a sensuous eulogy to her double bass) and the poetic Breathe.

Tony Hillier Rhythms magazine September 18, 2014

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Greg Bryce is the great guitarist and singer songwriter from one of Australia's most popular acoustic festival bands 'Jigzag'.  They're wonderfully eclectic, virtuosic, energetic and thought provoking all at the same time.  Greg's an example of a true team player and surely a role model for guitarists wanting to contribute intelligent parts and "play for the song".

Nick Charles Rhythms Magazine September 18, 2014

This multi-talented trio have been a live favourite on the Aussie folk circuit for years now.  This new live album captures them in both intimate venues and full-blown festival crowds.  It’s a varied mix of Celtic, jazz, pop and even country in parts.  Highlights include 30 Seconds of Happiness which tells of the band’s busking experiences and lets them show off their musical talent as they run through a series of staccato snapshots of busker staples from Stairway to Heaven to My Sharona - all with acoustic guitar, double-bass and violin.  Also worth a listen is their pumping eight-minute acoustic take of Misirlou, these days best known as the title music for Pulp Fiction.

Eddie O'Reilly The Newcastle Herald September 18, 2014