Showing posts with label Minstrel Jugglers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minstrel Jugglers. Show all posts

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Joseph (Joe) Jalvan - Juggler

Minstrel troupes were always popular in Australia, and none were more popular than those brought to the country by the remarkable and amazing Orpheus McAdoo.

McAdoo was born a slave in North Carolina, began performing with Loudin's minstrels, and finally became an entrepreneur, touring African American minstrel troupes around the world.

In the 1890s he took his team to South Africa, and on a scouting trip to the US for more talent, he found juggler, Joseph Jalvan.

Joseph was reportedly born in Pensylvania, and worked with McCabes minstrels in Philadephia and Cuba in the early 1890s. In the latter country he was so popular that a fan gave him a diamond pin.

In 1897 he joined McAdoo in South Africa and was very popular there too. However, the prospect of war led McAdoo to decide to take the troupe to Australia and they arrived  in 1898.

Jalvan was a juggler, balancer and magician. He juggled plates, spun tops and balanced pipes, and a live pigeon.

You can see Joseph balancing various objects on top of some clay pipes held in his mouth in the picture below which comes from an Australian newspaper.

During his tour of Australia, Jalvan seems to have had a falling out with his boss and with some other performers started his own touring group, He married a local woman, Catherine Webb and left Australia to continue his juggling career in the United States. He was juggling up to 1929, where he seems to disappear from the records.