Opera House at Boothbay Harbor

It’s the Hot Sardines June 3

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

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These mischief-makers of hot jazz started out playing underground neo-speakeasies in Brooklyn a decade ago. These days they tour worldwide and have recorded a string of albums that have racked up more than 60 million streams across digital platforms. On Saturday, June 3, the Hot Sardines come to Maine to perform at the historic Opera House in Boothbay Harbor.

Their reinvigorated classic jazz has been called “simply phenomenal” by The Times of London, and “potent and assured” by the New York Times, while Forbes calls them “One of the best jazz bands in NY today.” In the talented hands of this New York-based ensemble, music first made famous decades ago comes alive through their brassy horn arrangements, rollicking piano melodies, and vocals from a chanteuse who transports listeners to a different era with the mere lilt of her voice. They have played the Newport Jazz Festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival, have sold out NYC venues from Joe’s Pub to Bowery Ballroom and more than 150 tour dates from Chicago to London.

With the footlights dark during the pandemic band leaders Elizabeth Bougerol and Evan Palazzo took stock. “We called our last album “Welcome Home, Bon Voyage” because 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 quarantine 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.

With live music roaring back, the pair have returned to touring, are planning their Carnegie Hall debut in 2024 (featuring Alan Cumming as a special guest), and are producing an original show about Fats Waller, the larger-than-life driver of the Harlem renaissance. On June 3, Bougeral and Palazzo will be joined by their band and tap dancer, bringing the hottest of jazz to the coast of Maine.

Advance discounted tickets are currently available through the Opera House box office at 86 Townsend Ave., or by calling 633-5159. Advance tickets are $35, regular tickets are $40 online and day of show at the door. Doors for seating open at 7 p.m. and the music starts at 7:30.

Event Date: 

Sat, 06/03/2023 - 7:30pm


185 Townsend Avenue
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538
United States