New York City’s The Hot Sardines will bring foot-stomping jazz and sparkling showmanship to the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St., Sunday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m.

Fusing musical influences from New York, Paris, and New Orleans, The Hot Sardines transform songs from another era into pop music for this century. Their sound is steeped in foot-stomping jazz, salty stride piano and the kind of music Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt and Fats Waller used to make.

Bandleader and pianist Evan “Bibs” Palazzo and lead singer Elizabeth “Miz Elizabeth” Bougerol are joined by a blustery brass lineup, a powerhouse rhythm section led by a stride-piano virtuoso and the group’s very own tap dancer. Palazzo and Bougerol met in 2007 after they both answered a Craigslist ad about a jazz jam session above a Manhattan noodle shop. The unlikely pair — she was a London School of Economics-educated travel writer who grew up in France, Canada and the Ivory Coast; he was a New York City born and raised actor who studied theater at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia — bonded over their love for Fats Waller.

Influenced also by such greats as Dinah Washington, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, they began playing open mic nights and small gigs and by 2011, they were headling Midsummer Night Swing at New York’s Lincoln Center. The Hot Sardines’ self-titled debut album, named by iTunes as one of the best jazz albums of 2014, spent more than a year on the Billboard Jazz Chart, debuting in the Top 10.

“We found ourselves in the perfect place at the perfect time,” said Palazzo. “As we explored this 100-year-old jazz, we began to look at it as a journey forward, not so much as a look back. This is music for today, not a museum piece.”

On “French Fries & Champagne,” The Hot Sardines' new album, the jazz collective broadens its already impressive palette, combining covers and originals as they effortlessly channel New York speakeasies, Parisian cabarets and New Orleans jazz halls. In New York City, The Hot Sardines draw a young audience. In the rest of the country, multiple generations come to enjoy the innovation, verve and sheer joy they bring to music, both new and old.

General admission tickets are $45. The Strand lobby and balcony bars are open for all concerts for those age 21 and older. To buy tickets, or for more information, visit; call 594-0070, ext. 3; or email

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or