Jump Little Children (JLC or Jump) was formed in 1991 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Known for their unique sound, energetic live performances, and willingness to interact with fans, the band built a strong following over their fourteen years. They played their final show on December 30, 2005 in their adopted hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.
The band’s name is taken from a song by blues musicians Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.
Jay Clifford, Matthew Bivins, Ward Williams, and Christopher Pollen met and formed Jump, Little Children at the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1991. They played their first show on January 1, 1992 as part of a New Year’s Day festival in downtown Winston-Salem.
The group was performing Irish music at the time, and in the winter of 1992 Clifford, Bivins, and Pollen traveled to Ireland to learn their craft firsthand. Upon their return, Evan Bivins left the School of the Arts to join the band, and the quartet decided to move to Boston, MA. As they worked to finance the move, the band spent the summer of 1993 in Charleston, SC, where they met future member Jonathan Gray. After arriving in Boston in late 1993, Jump Little Children recorded and released a self-titled cassette featuring original songs and traditional Irish works. Pollen then left the group to join a religious community, and Clifford and the Bivins brothers returned to Charleston in the summer of 1994.