““…one of the best jazz bands in NY today.” – Forbes

“Consistently electrifying live” – Popmatters

“Not so much reviving standards as taking defib paddles to them and jolting them back to life.” – The Patriot-Ledger

Take a blustery brass lineup, layer it over a rhythm section led by a stride-piano virtuoso in the Fats Waller vein, and tie the whole thing together with a one-of-the-boys frontwoman with a voice from another era, and you have the Hot Sardines. (We haven’t even told you about the tap dancer yet.)

In a short time, the Hot Sardines have gone from their first gig – at a coffeeshop on the last Q train stop in Queens – to selling out Joe’s Pub 11 times in a year, headlining at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing, and opening for the Bad Plus, Lulu Gainsbourg and French gypsy-jazz artist Zaz. Through it all they’ve become regulars at the Shanghai Mermaid speakeasy and turned The Standard, where they play regularly, into their own “saloon in the sky” (The Wall Street Journal) – complete with tap dancing on the bar – honing a live persona that’s been called “unforgettably wild” and “consistently electrifying” (Popmatters).

The Sardine 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 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. And while their roots run deep into jazz, that most American of genres, they’re intertwined with French influences via their frontwoman, who was born and raised in Paris (and writes songs in both languages).

The band was born when said Parisian (Miz Elizabeth) met a stride piano player (bandleader Evan “Bibs” Palazzo) at a jam session they found on Craigslist. Above a noodle shop on Manhattan’s 49th Street, they discovered a mutual love for songs from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s that no-one really plays anymore. Or if they play them, “they handle them with kid gloves, like pieces in a museum,” says Evan, underscoring a point the pair can’t stress enough: “This music isn’t historical artifact. It’s a living, breathing, always-evolving thing.”

“Everything’s kind of being rewritten. And when nothing makes sense, there’s something real and satisfying about going to hear raucous jazz played in a dancehall with wooden floors and brown liquor.” – Miz Elizabeth


Harry Fellows for Collective Magazine


© Harry Fellows. Left to right: Evan Palazzo, Fast Eddy Francisco, Evan “Sugar” Crane, Jason Prover, Miz Elizabeth, Nick Myers, Alex Raderman, Pete Lanctot

Hot Sardines2 - (c) Harry Fellows
© Harry Fellows. Left to right: Evan Palazzo, Miz Elizabeth, Fast Eddy Francisco


“A revelation.” – Bill Bragin, Lincoln Center director of public programming

“Phenomenal.” – Pedro Andrade, host, The Voice Brazil

“The most foot-stomping, raucous jazz band in the world.” – The Music Playground

“They’re not a band. They’re a movement.” – Max Tucci, LA Talk Radio

“Consistently electrifying live.” -Popmatters

“Killed it.” – Bad Plus drummer David King

“The Hot Sardines play high-energy traditional jazz with a Parisian accent (“Sweet Sue, Just You” actually sounds better in French), and their chief assets are vocalist Elizabeth Bougerol, pianist Evan Palazzo, and clarinetist Jay Rattman, who also plays soprano with a trumpet-like, Sidney Bechet-inspired attack.”
-Will Friedwald, The Wall Street Journal

“…a perfect lineup… [They] play the kind of jazz you listen to on your old record player and pretend life is in black and white.”
– The Wild Honey Pie


“Délicieux projet rétro comme New York en a le secret, The Hot Sardines renoue avec le swing de l’entre-deux guerres et les costumes d’époque, pour célébrer les héritages de Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt ou Fats Waller. Un jazz jubilatoire, chanté et dansant – un claquettiste est d’ailleurs de la partie –, qui rappelle les glorieux cabarets de la Harlem Renaissance mais revendique aussi des influences françaises, via le ragtime de La Nouvelle-Orléans et l’origine de sa chanteuse Elizabeth Bougerol, née à Paris et élevée dans le manouche et la chanson française. Sous la direction d’un virtuose du piano stride, Evan Palazzo, le collectif se distingue par l’énergie de ses solistes. Formé il y a quatre ans dans un petit café du Queens, The Hot Sardines triomphait déjà l’été dernier devant les 6000 personnes rassemblées au Lincoln Center pour fêter le 14 juillet.” [Festival d'Ile de France]


Sold out Joe’s Pub debut (fall 2012)

Festival d’Ile-de-France/globalFEST 2012

Sold out Bastille Day at DeKalb Market, Brooklyn (the skint & Scoutmob, summer 2012)

Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing (headlined Bastille Day 2011)

Opened for the Bad Plus at City Winery, fall 2011

Escape to New York Festival 2011 – Shanghai Mermaid Afterparty Tent

Mastercard’s “Priceless” Concert Series

Shanghai Mermaid monthly speakeasy spectacular

Top of the Standard at the Standard Hotel (regular engagement)

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala

Swing House events

Wit’s End parties

Winter’s Eve Festival at Lincoln Square