AUSTIN, Texas — The hot jazz and Western swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown blends the traditional 1930s Western swing of Bob Wills and Milton Brown with European hot jazz traditions from the same era. The band writes its own material while reinterpreting everything from hoedowns to American songbook standards in its unique, original style.
Inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame in 2004 and voted Ameripolitan Western Swing Group of the Year in 2015, Hot Club of Cowtown has toured with Bob Dylan and represented traditional American music throughout the world, from Azerbaijan to the Sultanate of Oman, on behalf of the U.S. State Department. After fourteen well-regarded studio albums and a devoted global following, it is the relentless passion of the band’s live shows that remain its continuing trademark.
“This trio’s stylistic genesis — as well as title — stems from the realization that the great heritage of strings (guitars and violins) originates mutually with the Manouche gypsies of France and the no-less virtuosic hillbilly pickers and fiddlers of Oklahoma and Texas…. the threesome of high-heeled violinist Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin showed from the beginning that jazz and country music could exist together on the same page, a highly commendable achievement if ever there was one.”will friedwalkd – wall street journal
“Unfussy and unpretentious, their blend of down-home melodies and exuberant improvisation harks back to a lost era of so-called western swing. When they plunge into Orange Blossom Special your thoughts turn not so much to runaway trains as to a B-52 tearing up a runway.”clive davis – the times (london)
To celebrate its 25th anniversary and support the re-issue of their album Wild Kingdom, on the London-based label The Last Music Company (founded in 2017 by Malcolm Mills, former chairman and founder of European roots empire Proper Records) the band will have a slew of UK dates in the spring near the anniversary.
Formed in San Diego, California in 1997, the Hot Club of Cowtown grew out of a musical partnership between fiddle player and vocalist Elana James and guitarist and vocalist Whit Smith. The two started out as “Whit and Elana,” playing for tips at farmer’s markets, cafes and parks for a full year before moving to Austin, Texas as a fully formed trio with a new name.
“They’re not only the best at what they do; they’re the only ones that can do what they do.”jim caligiuri, austin chronicle
The Hot Club of Cowtown is named for its two primary and perfectly matched musical influences—“Hot Club” from the European hot jazz of 1930s and 1940s pre-war Paris in which Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grappelli united to form the Quintette of the Hot Club of France, and, simultaneously, the overwhelmingly popular “Western swing” music that was being played across the Atlantic, largely in Texas, Oklahoma, and the American southwest (“Cowtown”). Both styles are string-driven, hot dance music inspired by their own rich traditions—the American songbook, musette music, Roma and traditional European folk music, even Classical music from the hot jazz, European side, and the schottisches, polkas, reels, blues, hoedowns, vaudeville, gospel that converged to create Western swing.
“One of the finest performances by a visiting American country act I’ve witnessed for a very long time… they pretty much lifted the roof [off of the Black Box in Belfast] a couple of months back…a pretty much perfect country [band] at the very top of their game.”ralph mClean – the belfast telegraph
For twenty-five years, the Hot Club of Cowtown has relentlessly continued to spin gold from its inspirations, reinventing and improvising its way around the world and back again. Comprised of fiddle, guitar, and upright bass with members who also sing in three-part harmony, the Hot Club of Cowtown has scaled the mountain of American roots music and planted its flag at the very top through its authenticity, sincerity, musical virtuosity, wit, charm and practically non-stop touring. Along the way the band’s electrifying live shows have evolved to celebrate its influences with its own trademark spin, delivered with a boundless arsenal of technique and joy.
“While its repertoire and style draw from classic western swing and hot violin/guitar jazz of the Parisian 1930s and ’40s, it’s one of the most original groups on the Americana circuit, deserving of attention both live and on record.”craig havighurst – nashville tennessean
The Hot Club of Cowtown has also been honored to have joined Bob Dylan for two of his signature summer ballpark tours, and was slated to join him on a third in 2020 that was regrettably cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The band is also honored tohave toured with Willie Nelson, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Mavericks, Dan Hicks, Gatemouth Brown, the Avett Brothers, the Dustbowl Revival, Riders in the Sky, Asleep at the Wheel, and more.
The band’s national television appearances over the years, both in the United States and the United Kingdom, include the BBC’s “Later With Jools Holland,” and “Live From Glastonbury,” and in the United States return visits to the “Grand Ol’ Opry,” “Larry’s Country Diner,” and “The Texas Music Cafe,” as well as “$24 Dollars a Day with Rachael Ray,” The band has been featured on countless radio programs throughout the U.K. on the BBC and has performed regularly on American radio programs including “Mountain Stage, “Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, ” and “A Prairie Home Companion,” as well as National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” “e-town live,” “Morning Edition,” “World Cafe,” and others.
In 2020, James and Smith welcomed the trio’s newest member, Zack Sapunor, of Sacramento, California on upright bass, Sapunor’s previous stints with American roots legend Wayne Hancock and traditional jazz impresario Jim Cullum Jr., makes him the perfect addition to the band.
|MARCH 24, 2022||RFD-TV LARRY’S COUNTRY DINER BROADCAST||BROADCAST AT 7PM (CT)|
|MARCH 26, 2022||RFD-TV LARRY’S COUNTRY DINER BROADCAST||BROADCAST AT 7PM (CT)|
|MARCH 31, 2022||SAVANNAH , GA||SAVANNAH MUSIC FESTIVAL|
|APRIL 2, 2022||CORRALES, NM||HISTORIC OLD SAN YSIDRO CHURCH|
|APRIL 6, 2022||DULUTH, MN||WEST THEATRE|
|APRIL 7, 2022||STOUGHTON, WI||THE BEND THEATER|
|APRIL 8, 2022||WEST BEND, WI||OPERA HOUSE|
|APRIL 9, 2022||BAY CITY, MI||STATE THEATRE OF BAY CITY|
|APRIL 10, 2022||CLEVELAND, OH||MUSIC BOX|
|APRIL 13, 2022||AUSTIN, TX||CONTINENTAL CLUB|
|APRIL 20, 2022||SUNDERLAND, UK||THE FIRE STATION|
|APRIL 21, 2022||SELBY, UK||TOWN HALL|
|APRIL 22, 2022||SALTAIRE, UK||LIVE ROOM|
|APRIL 22, 2022||RELEASE OF WILD KINGDOM||THE LAST MUSIC COMPANY – LONDON UK|
|APRIL 23, 2022||BURY, UK||THE MET|
|APRIL 24, 2022||SETTLE, UK||VICTORIA HALL|
|APRIL 26, 2022||CARDIFF, UK||ST. DAVIDS|
|APRIL 27, 2022||BRADFORD UPON AVON, UK||WILTSHIRE MUSIC CENTRE|
|APRIL 28, 2022||LONDON, UK||CECILE SHARP HOUSE|
|APRIL 29, 2022||MILTON KEYNES, UK||THE STABLES|
|APRIL 30, 2022||HAILSHAM, UK||PAVILION|
|MAY 1, 2022||BURY ST, EDMUNDS, UK||APEX|
|MAY 3, 2022||EXETER, UK||PHOENIX|
|MAY 5, 2022||SOUTHAMPTON, UK||TURNER SIMS|
|MAY 6, 2022||CRAWLEY, UK||HAWTH|
|MAY 7, 2022||LOWDHAM, UK||VILLAGE HALL|
|MAY 8, 2022||EDINBURGH, UK||QUEEN’S HALL|
|MAY 22, 2022||SAN ANTONIO, TX||JAZZTX|
|MAY 28, 2022||CUMBERLAND, MD||DELFEST|
|MAY 29, 2022||CUMBERLAND, MD||DELFEST|
|JUNE 10, 2022||BARTLESVILLE, OK||PKMC FE|
|JUNE 11, 2022||ST. LOUIS, MO||BLUE STRAWBERRY|
|JUNE 12, 2022||BELLE PLAINE, KS||BARTLETT ARBORETUM|
|JUNE 17, 2022||ROCHESTER, NY||ROCHESTER INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL|
|JUNE 18, 2022||ROCHESTER, NY||ROCHESTER INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL|
|JULY 9, 2022||BUTTE, MT||MONTANA FOLK FESTIVAL|
|JULY 10, 2022||BUTTE, MT||MONTANA FOLK FESTIVAL|
|AUGUST 11, 2022||KANSAS CITY, MO||KNUCKLEHEADS|
|AUGUST 12, 2022||SIOUX FALLS, SD||LEVITT SHELL SIOUX FALLS|