ABOUT THE CHOIR
FORMED IN 2004,Jam Tarts are a 60-strong choral collective who perform unique and shimmering arrangements of songs by indie, punk and new wave artists such as The Smiths, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Bat for Lashes, John Grant, Tom Waits and Joy Division. Reviewing their 2014 Brighton Fringe gig at The Old Market, the Brighton Argus said that "Brighton should embrace these Tarts, they are one of the city’s hidden treasures." Awarding Jam Tarts' 2014 performance at Beautiful Days 9 out of 10, Virtual Festivals described them as, "performing way beyond their billing and pulling a massive crowd."
Director and arranger, Li Mills, started Jam Tarts as a 4 week singing course, requested by parents at her anarchic baby music group, Baby Jam. 15 years later, what started as a bit of a laugh, has become a serious musical concern with venues always sold out, and invitations to play festivals, as well as 4 gigs at Union Chapel in Islington. Another highlight saw them appearing on stage with world famous dancer, Carlos Acosta, at the Brighton Dome for 3 nights in 2015. 2019 saw the choir pack out venues in Brighton and Lewes for their dark and theatrical Not For The Faint Tarted show, stamping the unique Tart mark on songs of murder, madness and the macabre.
Jam Tarts have raised over £11,00 for Billy Bragg's charity, Jail Guitar Doors, with most of this money going directly to HMP Lewes' guitar group. For the last few years, Jam Tarts and sister choir Wham Jam Thank You Ma'am have proudly supported New Note Orchestra, a Brighton-based orchestra for people in recovery from addiction, and Wham Jam have shared the bill with NNO at several great gigs.
What Nouvelle Vague do with bossa nova and the Ukulele Orchestra do with, well, ukuleles, Jam Tarts Choir do with four (or five or even eight) part harmonies, 60 pairs of mighty lungs and six degrees of celebration.The line-up has also expanded, with cello, violin and trumpets often making their way into arrangements alongside the piano.