Brooklyn’s nautical rock wunderkind Jollyship the Whiz-Bang is (alternately or simultaneously) a puppet troupe, rock band, and theater production company. They have performed in festivals the world over, invited on the renown of their legendary live shows, which incorporate music, puppetry, video and comedy in elaborate spectacles.

Jollyship the Whiz-Bang was conceived in 2002 by playwright Nick Jones and composer Raja Azar. The origin of the group really began with a song, "Pyrate Love," performed while the two were working for the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. The warm response to this ballad of rape and murder became the central premise for an expanding musical and theatrical universe. A mission was forged to create a massive live musical pirate puppet sea saga, to be performed in sequential episodes developed and presented over the course of many years. 4 years later, this has yielded 6 full length multimedia productions (or “episodes”) linked sequentially, including several full scale theater productions (“Sleepless Fishes,” and its sequel “Crabquistador: Scavenger of God”) as well as generating hours of inventive musical material.

Jollyship the Whiz-Bang has garnered praise in Time Out New York, New York Press, The Onion, The FADER, and VICE. In September of 2006, Jollyship performed to sold out crowds in Seattle and Portland (as part of the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s TBA Festival) and released an EP, “Curse of the Ancient Legend” following their first album “Songs to Drown By." In 2005, Jollyship toured Ireland, where they were nominated for “Most Entertaining” (Best Show) at the Dublin Fringe Festival, and were Artists-in-Residence in Bangkok as part of the 1st annual Hoontown Puppet Festival.

The puppetship currently bears an 8 person crew, which includes a fulltime light and video designer and 3 puppeteers. The last muster of crewmembers had Keith Fredrickson on lead guitar, Dan Kutcher on bass, Nick Jones on lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and puppets, Mr. Skeevy on keyboards, accordion, and puppets, Kevin Raczka on drums, Devon Ludlow and Katie McClenahan on backing vocals and lead puppets, and Kris Anton doing video design and giving technical support.

NOTE: Because Jollyship often plays at rock clubs, there is not always a big enough stage or long enough sound check to do a full puppet rock opera spectacular. Also be warned that of late Jollyship has begun new projects outside the nautical/pirate scope, including
"The Colonists" a non-verbal "live nature documentary" about wasps, which recently receieved a grant from the Jim Henson Foundation! So if you're a pirate thinking of coming to one of our shows, be sure to investigate the details first, or you might be the only one dressed that way.

Visit Jollyship on Myspace. . . jollyshipthewhizbang


© Jollyship the Whiz-Bang 2005-2023