The Jongleurs are a five piece band that play experimental alternative music with lyrics that are unintelligible yet clearly enunciated. In 1994 keyboardist Michael Stegner (Morehead, KY), bassist Forrest Giberson (Woodland, WA), drummer Eric Hastings (Atlanta, GA) and saxophonists Matt Glassmeyer (Nashville, TN) and Josh Sclar (Kansas City, KS) came together in Miami. Foreseeing potential dementia and alcoholism in forming a career around cover gigs, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and big band shows, they pooled their lust for all music. The result has been and continues to be a sound that is extremely fresh and spontaneous, while difficult to categorize.
The music of The Jongleurs was not arrived at through a tradition of similar bands, but rather through the influence of an extensive mass of musicians of all categories. Their sound constantly samples everything from good, wholesome rock 'n roll, to bluegrass, to European classical music, to the blues. The band claims specific influence from the music of Miles Davis, Charles Ives, Bill Frisell, Prince, the gods of metal, the gods of rap, and the gods of very corny music worldwide. Journalists and audiences compare The Jongleurs to Frank Zappa, They Might Be Giants, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Phish, Primus, and Mr. Bungle. The band creates an accessible yet unique music by drawing on their roots in music loved by generations of listeners and posers.
Since their inception three years ago, The Jongleurs have played constantly in Miami's premier live music venues and have toured throughout the Southeast. They have shared the stage with national acts such as George Clinton, Col. Bruce Hampton, The Grapes, Dag, and Day By the River. The Jongleurs were selected to perform at the 1996 Macintosh New Music Festival in New York City and the 1997 South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin, TX. Additionally, in the spring of 1997, The Jongleurs became a part of the Home Grown Music Network- a collective of approximately 30 independent touring bands throughout the U.S.
The Jongleurs first put their sound on record in 1995 on the Cane Records compilation Miami Hybridized. Their first full lenth album, The Jongleurs, was released in 1996 on NCM East Records. Their 1997 release, Five People, also on NCM East, proves the best description of their style and evolution, and is supported by their first extensive national tour.
The Jongleurs forge on to spread their brand of originality,
unpredictability, sarcasm and adventure.