Quick Center's opening weekend sizzles with spicy jazz sounds from The Hot Sardines

8 p.m. on Saturday, September 20, 2014

Image: Hot SardinesFairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts celebrates the opening weekend of its exhilarating 2014-2015 performance season with the spicy jazz sounds of The Hot Sardines, performing at 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 20, 2014. Reserved tickets are $45, $40, and $35; Fairfield University students: $5.

The Hot Sardines invoke the music of a near-century ago with straight-up, foot-stomping jazz that stays resolutely in step with the current age. With nods to the styles of Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt and Fats Waller, the Sardines have a sound steeped in hot jazz spiced with salty stride piano. Their jazz roots run deep and intertwine with French influences via their frontwoman, "Miz Elizabeth" Bougerol, who was born and raised in Paris and writes songs in both languages. The band was born when Bougerol met 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."

In a short time, the Hot Sardines went from their first gig - at a coffee shop 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).

"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," said Miz Elizabeth Bougerol. 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.

Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396 (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.quickcenter.com.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 20, 2014

Vol. 47, No. 33

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