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The Hot Sardines

Take a blustery brass front line, add salty stride piano in the timeless image of Fats Waller and a frontwoman with the attitude and style of a 30s cabaret diva and you have The Hot Sardines in a seashell. And that’s not to mention the tap dancer!

The Sardine sound is steeped in hot jazz, gypsy swing – a slice of between-the-wars Paris via New Orleans. They’re sure to take the world by storm over the next few years – their debut album was just named in the iTunes ‘Best of Year’ list.

London learned about their star quality at the EFG London Jazz Festival. Their two sold-out shows were flashy, fun and had the audience quite literally dancing in the aisles. The rest of the UK got a glimpse of the magic when they performed on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show and now they’re back for a UK tour in May to bring New York hot jazz and swing to halls all over the country. 

Click here to listen.

Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock

Having completely sold out their performance on Monday 6 July, Chick
Corea and Herbie Hancock have just announced they will play another show at the Barbican the following night.

If you missed out on the first show, get in there quickly to bag yourself a ticket for this rare second opportunity to see two members of jazz royalty on the same stage.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10am.


Young & Serious are recruiting

Aged 17 – 25?
Passionate about music?
Want to gain experience in the music industry?

We are currently seeking enthusiastic 17 - 25 year olds to join Young & Serious; a year-round programme that offers a unique insight into the music industry. Click here for further details and to download an application form. Deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 6 February. 

Musicians First; where professional musicians are found

Are you a professional musician? Do you have friends who are?

Musicians First is a new digital service that is passionate about linking up talented musicians with interesting, varied work. Their goal is to improve the quality of musical performance by bringing opportunities to a wider range of talented individuals.

Serious are working with Musicians First to join up a core of musicians in our world, and we’d like to extend the invitation to you. Membership is free until March, with no obligation, so it’s a great opportunity to set up a profile and take the website for a spin.

Sign up for free here:

If you hit any problems or have any questions, please e-mail Duncan McGibbon at 

EFG London Jazz Festival review: Henri Texier - The Hope Quartet

During the first weekend of this year's EFG London Jazz Festival, we sent Howard Caine, alumni member of writing initiative, The Wright Stuff, to review Henri Texier in the Purcell Room. Here's what he thought of the show: 

'There are few certainties in life it seems other than death and taxes. To that select list I would respectfully add the venerable Henri Texier.

'I don't know how many times I've seen the veteran bassist, but no matter what the format, he always delivers. A few years ago his set with long term associate Aldo Romano on drums and Sebastien Texier on reeds, accompanying Guy Lequerrec's wonderful photographic documentation of Texier's African travels was the highlight of the festival for many of those who were lucky enough to attend.

'His Hope Quartet features son Sebastien again accompanied by Francois Corneloup on baritone sax with drum duties taken by Louis Moutin. The set at EFG LJF 2014 was very much based around his latest release on the ever-wonderful Label Bleu, A L'Improviste, recorded in 2013. In Moutin, Texier has again found a perfect foil – essential in a quartet for which rhythmic pulse is the very heartbeat of the music. Like Romano and the wonderful Tony Rabeson before him, Moutin has a rolling, free-limbed approach to the drums, a physicality and generous use of tom-toms and hands-on skins. This sits perfectly within Texier's organic soundscapes which owe as much to the African bush as they do to the Parisian jazz scene of the 1960s.

'The music is always evocative, conjuring up images of savannahs and tribal villages, verdant forests or arid dust bowls, life-giving water and flowing rivers. Above all perhaps, mankind's somewhat less than maternal relationship with mother earth. Texier also pays homage to others who have understood the rhythm of life. O Elvin had a polyrhythmic drive of which the late Mr Jones would surely have approved, whilst Song for Paul Motian had a typically abstract and left-of-centre theme which left it swimming in the head long after the notes had sunk into the ether.

'Sitting imp-like in the middle of the stage, hunched over his bass, Texier drives the music with a natural ease and humour, reflected in his wonderfully light touch with the audience. When a woman left the hushed calm of the Purcell Room after the first number, high heels clacking loudly on the wooden floor, the bassist hopped off his stool to watch her go. “Do you hate me?!” he demanded as the door closed behind her. Then to the audience, “She loved me until she heard my music.”

'Don't worry Henri – her loss. And there's still a lot of love out there for you.'

Howard Caine
The Write Stuff