Photo: Harry Fellows

“Tonight was one of those nights where it felt like a band was really kicked up to a new level. The Hot Sardines killed it. ...A revelation.” - Bill Bragin, director of Public Programming for Lincoln Center

"...the most foot-stomping, raucous jazz band in the world." - The Music Playground

In just under four years, the Hot Sardines have gone from their first gig - at a coffeeshop on the last Q train stop in Queens - to headlining at Lincoln Center, where they played to a crowd of 6000 on Bastille Day 2011. They've also opened for the Bad Plus and French gypsy-jazz artist Zaz.

The Hot Sardines sound – wartime Paris via New Orleans, or the other way around – is steeped in hot jazz, salty stride piano, and the kind of music Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt and Fats Waller used to make: Straight-up, foot-stomping jazz. (Literally – the band includes a tap dancer whose feet count as two members of the rhythm section). They manage to invoke the sounds of a near-century ago and stay resolutely in step with the current age.

The band was born when a stride piano player (Evan Palazzo) and a singer (Elizabeth Bougerol) met at a jam session advertised on Craigslist. Above a noodle shop on 49th Street, they discovered a mutual love for songs from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s that no-one really plays anymore. The band gets their French influence two ways, via the early jazz sound of New Orleans and the jazz manouche and French chanson their Paris-born vocalist listened to growing up.

Members of the Sardines collective have worked with a genre-hopping roster that includes Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens, Lauren Ambrose, Sondre Lerche, Vetiver, Of Montreal, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Elling, Branford Marsalis, the New York and Jerusalem Philharmonics, Slavic Soul Party and the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra.

More at The Hot Sardines website