“New-old” jazz phenomena, The Hot Sardines, took the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts back in time after performing their modern renditions of jazz greats of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The Octet set the standards high for the 2014-2015 opening weekend with the sounds of New York, Paris and New Orleans during the Prohibition through World War II era.

This past Saturday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m., bandleader and pianist Evan “Bibs” Palazzo and co-founder and lead vocalist Miz Elizabeth gave the crowd more than they could ask for. Listeners of all ages were swinging back and forth in their seats, tapping their feet, and singing along to their favorite tunes.

The Sardines performed hits from Fats Waller, The Andrews Sisters and Billie Holiday. “Feets Too Big,” “Bei Mir Bistu Shein” and “What a Little Moonlight” will all be songs featured on their most recent, self-titled, album set to release Oct. 7.

Elizabeth instantly took control of the mic as if these songs were her own. On stage, Elizabeth surprised the crowd with self-written French lyrics in songs like “Bei Mir Bistu Shein” or “Petite Fleur.” According to the Sardines’ website, Elizabeth was born and raised in Paris, allowing her to mend music and lyrics in both languages into the nuances of jazz.

Throughout the gig, Palazzo was Elizabeth’s partner in crime, joking and keeping the energy alive while simultaneously dominating the stride piano. Palazzo played beautiful piano solos, soothing us from one hit to the next. The room stood silent and in the next moments, Palazzo was towering over his keys from the piano stool with the high energy of the band.

Elizabeth gave us a history lesson on her Columbus Washboard, which “some people still use for washing clothes,” and musicians. Yet Bibs and Elizabeth were only part of the equation.

Elizabeth let the audience know early on that they were all in for a treat with “Fast Eddy” Francisco on tap. Yes, the jazz tap dancer played along, soloed and stomped his feet across the entire stage of the Quick. Things were so hot he couldn’t keep his microphone from jumping off of his shoe.

The horn and wind section featured Jason Prover on trumpet, Nick Myers on clarinet and saxophone and Mike Sailors on trumpet. Prover almost blew his way out of his era-correct suit and in combination with Sailors, the duo was unstoppable. Myers was another force to be messed with. He dominated every line and distinctly made the music his own.

Drummer Alex Raderman kept things swinging and managed to coax the rest of the band into a percussion frenzy during his melodic solo. Raderman, along with double bassist Evan “Sugar” Crane, held down the rhythm section from start to end.

Senior, Chris Finelli, thought the Sardines “did a good job of accurately representing the era, both musically and stylistically, while also adding a nice touch of their own.”

“My favorite part, being a trumpet player, was definitely the lead trumpet player [Prover]. He improvised extremely well, played really fast, and had a great jazz tone and feel,” added Finelli.

It is no wonder PopMatters quoted The Hot Sardines as “unforgettably wild and “consistently electrifying” or why Forbes crowned them as “one of the best jazz bands in NY today.”

The Sardines are gaining popularity fast, and have shows booked through April 2015 across the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Paris. The Hot Sardines will make their next local appearance at Carnegie Hall in New York on Dec. 6.

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--- Senior | Vine Editor Emeritus--- Music/English

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