Fueled by the belief that classic Jazz feeds the heart and soul, The Hot Sardines are on a mission to innovate and to share the sheer joy they bring to music, both new and old. These mischief-makers of hot Jazz have been described as “potent and assured” (The New York Times) and “simply phenomenal” (The Times, London).
In the talented hands of this ensemble, music first made famous decades ago comes alive through their brassy horn arrangements, rollicking piano melodies and vocals from a chanteuse who transports listeners to a different era with the mere lilt of her voice. The Jazz collective has a broad and impressive palette, combining covers and originals as they effortlessly channel New York speakeasies, Parisian cabarets and New Orleans Jazz halls.
Bandleader Evan Palazzo and lead singer Elizabeth Bougerol met in 2007 after they both answered a Craigslist ad about a Jazz jam session above a Manhattan noodle shop. The unlikely pair — she was a London School of Economics-educated travel writer who grew up in France, Canada and the Ivory Coast, he was a New York City born-and-raised actor who studied theatre at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia—bonded over their love for Fats Waller. Influenced also by such greats as Dinah Washington, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, they began playing open mic nights and small gigs and by 2011, they headlined Midsummer Night Swing at New York’s Lincoln Center.
The Hot Sardines’ first major label album was self-titled and named by iTunes as one of the best Jazz albums of 2014. It spent more than a year on the Billboard Jazz Chart, debuting in the top 10 alongside Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. The accolades began pouring in for the band: Downbeat called The Hot Sardines “one of the most delightfully energetic bands on New York’s ‘hot’ music scene,” while The London Times praised their “crisp musicianship” and “immaculate and witty showmanship.”
“Not many bands have seized the post-millennial early-Jazz spotlight with as much gusto as The Hot Sardines. An eight-piece outfit co-led by singer Elizabeth Bougerol and pianist Evan Palazzo, it has devoted more than the last decade to a razzle-dazzle reclamation of prewar swing.” –Nate Chinen, WBGO
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