Contact Us

The San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation Collection The Charles N. Huggins Project

Turk on His Own

Good Time Jazz Recording session with Bob Helm, Bob Short, Wally Rose and Claire Austin
Avery, Ray

Turk Murphy left Lu Watters’ Yerba Buena Jazz Band in 1949 when the YBJB encountered financial difficulties in their new location, Hambone Kelly’s.

Always entrepreneurial, Turk was able to thrive on his own, and he formed the Turk Murphy Jazz Band in 1952, a band that would perform continuously until Turk’s death in 1987.

Over four decades, Turk unwaveringly championed traditional jazz, a term he himself coined.

Turk continued to arrange and compose for his band, as well as for movies, television, and Broadway, and his music was widely recorded.

The Turk Murphy Jazz Band toured nationally and internationally, and Turk established Earthquake McGoon’s, the landmark San Francisco jazz club.

Turk Murphy on washboard with Bob Short and Wally Rose
Avery, Ray
Turk Murphy Jazz Band, Beverly Caverns, June 1951
Avery, Ray

Photos by Ray Avery - Copyright © Ray Avery/CTSIMAGES. Used with permission.