Click on a name or a face to read more.
Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Guitar, Mandolin
Accordion, Backup Vocals
Fiddle, Mandolin, Banjo
Percussion, Winds, Hurdy-Gurdy, everything else
Hammered Dulcimer, Trombone, Didgeridoo
Playing the bass is one extension of Greg's music-filled life. After
a year of piano lessons, Greg began studying the French horn
at the age of 9. Four years later, he started playing bass guitar "to meet girls."
After flirting with a life in heavy metal, Greg was drafted into
his high school pep band and jazz ensemble. Greg glossed over
grunge to focus on jazz and funk. When he was 17, Greg switched from
French horn to tuba; his love of the low end could no longer be denied.
While attending SUNY Geneseo to pursue his degree in special
education, Greg answered the call of the contrabass. While
studying under Tremont Quartet member James Kirkwood, Greg met Jim
Kimball--ethnomusicologist and founder of the Geneseo String
Band. For three years, Greg played square and contra dances in the
Rochester, NY area.
After graduation, Greg got his first teaching job and moved to Ithaca.
There he started playing dances with his uncle, hammer-dulcimer
player Curt Osgood. Greg met the rest of Jiggermeister through the
city's vital contra dance scene.
Greg currently lives in his hometown of Buffalo, NY and is pursuing
his MA in special education and teaching adolescents with
Andrew has been playing the accordion since he was 8 years old.
Under the instruction of Paul Monte, he quickly found himself immersed in the underground
world of children's classical accordion competitions. It's kind of like gymnastics, but with your fingers.
So he did what any young kid in that situation would do: won lots of trophies by playing songs like
"The William Tell Overture" and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.
With the Accordion Olympics only a year away, Andrew grew tired of the pressure, and decided
to take a more scenic route by joining a klezmer band. One thing led to another, and soon
Andrew had convinced the Cornell Jazz Band to let him play accordion with them and run their website.
With very few jazz accordion players to listen to, Andrew forged his own style.
At about the same time, the Contra Dance came calling. It said "Hi, Andrew." Then it said: "You've been
dancing as long as you've been playing that squeezebox. Don't you think it's time to put them together?"
So he answered: "But the only tunes I know are the ones I've written." The Dance replied:
"Don't worry, I'll take care of that." And soon enough, Andrew met Greg and the rest of a rowdy bunch of
like-minded individuals, and Jiggermeister was born!
A lot has happened since that fateful year. Andrew now lives near Washington, DC, and spends his lonely
hours when Jiggermeister is not around playing with his contra rock band
Government Contra Act, and he just released a new CD with
his family band Gift of the Marcii!
Andrew has toured with Flapjack and
The Avant Gardeners on occasion, and with
his brother Aaron, Michael Ferguson and the VanNorstrand brothers (of Great Bear Trio fame)
as "Giant Robot Dance", who perform at really big events like
NEFFA and the Brattleboro Dawn Dance.
More information (and a gig calendar) can be found on his website:
More info coming soon! (really, this time...)
Melissa Kacalanos was born in a very, very small village on the border between Egypt and Norway.
She left home at the tender age of thirty-two, making her way to the New World by stowing away on a
shipload of doumbeks and salted fish. Unfortunately, she still smells like doumbeks.
Along the way, she picked up a cumbus, a hurdy gurdy, and some fifes. The fifes were easy to pick up,
but the hurdy gurdy was harder because it didn't fit in her sleeve.
More information can be found on her website:
More info coming soon!
He does exist; he just hasn't written his memoirs yet.