“Not many bands have seized the postmillennial early-jazz spotlight with as much gusto as The Hot Sardines.” Nate Chinen, WBGO

“100-year-old jazz standards get reborn.”

“Potent and assured.” THE NEW YORK TIMES

Emerging a decade ago from the underground parties of Brooklyn to touring worldwide and recording a string of albums that’s racked up more than 60 million streams across digital platforms, the Hot Sardines’ own “potent and assured” (The New York Times), “simply phenomenal” (The Times of London) brand of reinvigorated classic jazz landed them at the center of a whirlwind.

With the footlights dark in 2020, Elizabeth Bougerol and Evan Palazzo stayed home and took stock. “We called our 2019 album Welcome Home, Bon Voyage because, for the last five years, we were literally always getting on a plane. We were so lucky to have that success, and we were finally able to reflect on it,” says Elizabeth. Adds Evan, “So we said, What do we want to do now? It turned out we really wanted to write and record more music.” The pair started brainstorming via Zoom, and unable to gather their usual little big band into a studio, they focused on a stripped-down sound to record remotely, calling on quarantining collaborators from Los Angeles to Beijing, using very 21st-century technology to record songs written nearly 100 years ago.

The result is the album C’est La Vie, a bilingual affair whose title track — a Bossa nova original in French — is a timely ode to fully living each moment, even when you don’t know what the next will bring. Unable to travel to her native France, Elizabeth spent time rediscovering early French recordings, so the collection also includes the 1938 gypsy-jazz breezer “J’attendrai” (Dino Olivieri, Louis Poterat), the dark Django Reinhardt ballad “Si Tu Savais” (Georges Ulmer), and “I Wish You Love,” the 1942 standard by Charles Trenet and Léo Chauliac, with English lyrics by Albert Beach.

A gospel-inflected “Moon River” came about when Elizabeth and Evan were tapped by director Greg Mottola to contribute music to the Miramax release Confess, Fletch, starring Jon Hamm and John Slattery (in which the band also makes an appearance); originals created for the project include the original “Adieu l’amour,” a foray into the sounds of film noir. And “La Vie en Rose” shows up as a hushed duet with Bob Parins, with whom Elizabeth sang his original “Sweet Pea,” a breakout hit from the Sardines’ French Fries + Champagne.

With live music roaring back, the pair are planning not just a return to touring but are producing an original show about Fats Waller, the larger-than-life driver of the Harlem renaissance, coming early 2023.


11/11 Princeton, NJ – McCarter Theatre Center
11/15 New York City – Birdland (two shows)
11/16 New York City – Birdland (two shows)
11/17 New York City – Birdland (two shows)
11/18 New York City – Birdland (two shows)
11/19 New York City – Birdland (two shows)
11/29 Erie, PA – D’Angelo Performing Arts Center
12/1 South Orange, NJ – South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
12/3 Fairfield, CT – Sacred Heart Theatre
12/10 Indianapolis – The Cabaret
12/11 Chicago – Old Town School of Folk Music TBA
12/12 Minneapolis – The Dakota (2 shows)

Show information can be found at http:www.hotsardines.com/tour.
 Carla Parisi
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Main site image Aidan Grant


  • The Hot Sardines (c) John Williams / Roundhouse

  • The Hot Sardines (c) John Williams / Roundhouse

  • Evan Palazzo, Elizabeth Bougerol of The Hot Sardines (c) Wojtek Urbanek

  • Evan Palazzo, Elizabeth Bougerol of The Hot Sardines (c) Aidan Grant

  • The Hot Sardines (c) John Williams / Roundhouse

  • Elizabeth Bougerol, A.C. Lincoln of The Hot Sardines (c) Aidan Grant