The Fretless is a young and innovative band that melds the worlds of celtic, folk and chamber music into an amazing and unique sound they like to call rad trad. They may look like a string quartet, but with innovative arrangements and roots deeply based in Celtic and Canadian fiddle styles, The Fretless is creating their own unique path in the music world.
It's not uncommon for a modern string quartet to play some crossover material, but what The Fretless does is different. They aren't a classical quartet playing arrangements of folk tunes, but a celtic band with a twist! Playing the instruments of a classical string quartet, the members of The Fretless are fundamentally folk musicians who know the traditions and styles, but also happen to have extensive technical training and chamber music experience.
Hailing from all across North America, the members of The Fretless are Ivonne Hernandez - violin, viola, step dancing and vocals, from Victoria, BC, Canada. Trent Freeman - violin, viola and feet, from Vancouver, BC, Canada. Karrnnel Sawitsky - violin and viola from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Eric Wright - cello, from Los Angeles, California, USA.
Three members of The Fretless (Ivonne, Karrnnel and Trent) met many many years ago in the Canadian fiddling and step dancing competition circuit and quickly became great friends and each others best competition! It was inevitable they would each end up making names for themselves among Canada's top fiddlers. Winning such awards as BC Provincial Fiddle Champion multiple times (Trent & Ivonne), Saskatchewan Provincial fiddle Champion four times (Karrnnel), Canadian National Fiddle Championship finalists (Trent, Ivonne & Karrnnel), Grand North American Fiddle Champion five times (Ivonne) and finalists (Trent & Karrnnel), European Fiddle Champion (Ivonne); it is clear how this solid foundation paved the way to their musical success.
Ivonne and Trent went on to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, USA. It was there that they met Eric. It's not often that you see a cellist that can play trad and Irish music! With his beautiful tone and technical abilities, Eric can not only play the subtly ornamented Irish tunes, but he can also accompany the tunes mixing bass & melody lines and rhythmic patterns, as only a drummer could! They quickly bonded and all graduated Magna Cum Laude (honours) with 2 degrees in Professional Music (Trent & Eric) and a dual major of Music Business & Management and Performance (Ivonne). Karrnnel took a different path and received a degree in Civil Engineering while still maintaining a busy musical schedule.
With their titles and abilities, they have all had very successful careers as solo performers with their own bands, as well as being highly in demand as teachers. The members of The Fretless are also highly sought after sidemen and session musicians with other well known bands and artists.
Their debut album 'Waterbound' was recorded in beautiful Victoria, BC, Canada by the award winning and grammy nominated Joby Baker. Waterbound features two outstanding vocalists; Ruth Moody of the band 'The Wailin' Jenny's' singing the title track 'Waterbound; and Norah Rendell of the band 'The Outside Track'. Already this new release has been getting rave reviews and airplay across North America & Europe. The Fretless is currently touring to promote 'Waterbound', and can be found gracing stages and airways around the world. With their fresh and new approach to traditional music, The Fretless is a lethal supergroup that is a force to be reckoned with on the folk music scene!