Spasm band

Spasm band

A spasm band is a musical group that plays a variety of Dixieland, trad jazz, jug band, or skiffle music.

According to by Hugues Panassie and Madeleine Gautier's Dictionary of Jazz, the first Spasm bands were formed on the streets of New Orleans in the late nineteenth century. The term "spasm" applied to any band (often made up of children) who made musical instruments out of found objects not usually employed for such.

According to Panassie and Gautier, the earliest band to play under the name "Spasm Band" in New Orleans was formed in 1895. They played, amongst other things, a length of gas pipe, a kettle and a fiddle made from a cigar box.

The term "spasm band" has been revived by jazz groups The Barnstormers Spasm Band, The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band and The Spasm Band and by rock group The Nihilist Spasm Band.

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