Award-winning Austin, Texas-based Hot Club of Cowtown may be the world’s most globe-trotting, effervescent string trio, who’s joyful sound blends the traditional Western swing of the 1940s American southwest with European hot jazz influences of the same era. The Hot Club of Cowtown, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022, writes its own original songs and reinterprets everything from hoedowns to American songbook standards in its own, original style. The band is guitarist Whit Smith, fiddler Elana James, and upright bassist Zack Sapunor.
HCCT has toured with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Roxy Music and others and proudly represents traditional American music throughout the world for the US State Department from Azerbaijan to the Sultanate of Oman. It has been named Ameripolitan Western Swing Group of the Year and is a member of the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame. Fifteen albums, a global following, and the relentless passion of its live shows are the band’s enduring trademark.
Recently signed to UK roots label the Last Music Company, the Hot Club of Cowtown continues to amass a devoted following worldwide through its one-of-a-kind versatility and virtuosity. Career highlights include the Fuji Rock Festival (Japan), Lincoln Center, the Grand Ol’ Opry, the Glastonbury Festival (UK) and all points in between.
“The interplay is as sleek as ever.” – The Times (London)
“The hot jazz is what Hot Club do best, and this is a staggering return to form for the band I once said I could listen to forever. That still stands.” – Country Music People
“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….Together for over 15 years and a dozen albums, 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.” – Wall Street Journal
“Hot Club of Cowtown swung light and tight, like tumbleweeds made of velvet.” – Rochester City Paper
“[James’s] inventive violin style can still conjure up the unique image of Bob Wills strolling through Tin Pan Alley.” – JazzTimes
“As instrumentally and vocally tight as any band out there working in any genre today….three skilled musicians who can seemingly just tune up and play, something that’s becoming increasingly rare these days.” – American Songwriter