Juvenile Jazz Bands

by Tish murtha



Juvenile Jazz Bands by Tish Murtha. First edition (2020). First impression. Large format hardback in new condition. No markings. This is a new book. Please see pictures. PayPal accepted, any questions please get in touch.

About Juvenile Jazz Bands

'The series was made while Murtha was employed through a Youth Opportunity Programme at Side Gallery in Newcastle and shown there in 1979 before touring. Juvenile Jazz Bands were a bit of a phenomenon in the North East and also around the country in places like the Midlands and South Wales. Tish didn't like them at all! She felt they were militaristic and harmful to their young members - only teaching them to walk in a straight line and, to her horror, didn't actually involve any jazz music. Although Murtha travelled with the official Jazz Bands to local parades and carnivals, she really focused her camera on the 'toy bands' in the back lanes. Those who were not accepted into or could not afford to be in a band.

The 'toy bands' had a certain charm to them. Tish felt these kids used their imaginations to the same extent as the official bands denied it! They clubbed together to create their own equipment from unwanted household items. For example, they would use an old tablecloth for a banner with their chosen name drawn on - held up with old broom handles. They would also use old pans as drums with the lids for cymbals and then practise fiercely. During this time, Newcastle was undergoing massive changes. Houses and neighbourhoods were being demolished all around - a fitting background to the anarchy of the 'unofficial' jazz bands.'

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