2017-01-12 / Scene

Hot Club of Cowtown to perform Saturday at The PIX


The Hot Club of Cowtown, appearing at The PIX on Saturday, have toured with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and most recently Roxy Music in Europe. The Hot Club of Cowtown, appearing at The PIX on Saturday, have toured with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and most recently Roxy Music in Europe. LAPEER — Returning to the PIX Theatre on Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. for the first time in more than 10 years, Hot Club of Cowtown will offer those who attend an incomparable combination of violin, guitar and bass, which often back easy and soulful vocals.

Their music combines hot jazz, western swing and American standards in a style reminiscent of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, yet uniquely their own. Its members have been musical ambassadors for the U.S. State Department, played Lincoln Center and been inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame.

An ad in the “Village Voice” brought Elana James and Whit Smith together in 1994. Together they founded a large western swing orchestra in New York City, but returned to their essential elements in 1997 as a duo simply called Whit & Elena. Before long though, they added a bass player and the group grew into today’s Hot Club of Cowtown.

The trio moved to Austin, Texas, and released its first album, Swingin’ Stampede, in 1998. Finally, in 2001, the band’s lineup solidified with the arrival of current bassist Jake Erwin, who cemented Hot Club’s larger-than-life, earth-shaking rhythmic foundation.

The group has gone on to build a reputation for their musical creativity and unforgettable live shows. Praised for its “down-home melodies and exuberant improvisation” (The Times, London), the Hot Club has woven a combination of seemingly contrasting styles together, setting up camp “at that crossroads where country meets jazz and chases the blues away” (The Independent), remaining “conscious always that above all else, the music is for dancing and an old-fashioned good time” (New York Times). The Hot Club has opened several shows for Willie Nelson, toured with Nelson and Bob Dylan during a summer-long stadium tour, and recently opened seven nights of Roxy Music’s sold-out “For Your Pleasure” U.K. stadium tour.

Tickets in advance are $24 for adults and $18 for seniors, students and military. The ticket price goes up at the door. To purchase tickets in advance, visit the PIX Box Office located inside Gallery 194, Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased over the phone at 810- 664-4824 or online at www.centerfortheartslapeer.org.

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