The Hot Sardines, a band on a mission to make classic jazz sounds alive and vibrant in the 21st century, is Performance Santa Fe’s special guest on December 6.
“We’re very passionate about this music and view it as timeless,” says The Hot Sardines’ bandleader and co-founder Evan Palazzo about the tunes his eight-piece band arranges and performs with lead singer and band co-founder Elizabeth Bougerol. “Our music is joyous. We love sharing it with our audience members.”
The Hot Sardines, which has been a guest at both the Newport Jazz Festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival, puts a new spin on classic songs like “People Will Say We’re in Love” (Rogers and Hammerstein), “Comes Love” (Billie Holiday) and “Runnin’ Wild,” which was written in 1922 and is best known for inclusion in the 1959 comedy “Some Like It Hot.”
The Santa Fe show features some of the band’s favorite holiday tunes, including “Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney” and well-known holiday sing-along numbers. Also part of the show are selections from The Hot Sardines’ self-titled album, named by iTunes as one of the best jazz albums of 2014, and its latest album “French Fries & Champagne,” which was released in June 2016 and contains some original songs.
“Elizabeth writes new lyrics as do some of our musicians,” explains Palazzo, who composes instrumental tunes. “Everything we write is inspired by our jazz roots.”
Palazzo and Bougerol founded The Hot Sardines in 2007 when they both answered a Craigslist ad about a jazz jam session above a Manhattan noodle shop. Bouderol, a travel writer educated at London School of Economics, and Palazzo, a New York City-born actor who studied theater at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, bonded over their love for American jazz pianist and composer Fats Waller.
Their first gigs included playing open mic nights at New York City clubs. By 2011, they had headlined Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center. Last year, The Hot Sardines played more than 100 shows from coast to coast.
Always looking forward while playing their unique versions of tunes written long ago, The Hot Sardines are already in the process of putting a new album together.