Smile Politely

Three questions with Hot Club of Urbana

6 members of Urbana Hot Club looking like they just played a gig under a large tent. They are all sweaty and posing for the camera.
Scott Schwartz

I briefly connected with Hot Club of Urbana this week for a few fun questions ahead of their upcoming gig at Rose Bowl Tavern this Thursday.

Smile Politely: If the Hot Club of Urbana’s music was the soundtrack to a film, what genre would the film be, and could you give us a brief plot summary? How do your jazz influences shape the narrative?

Hot Club of Urbana: It would be a zany romance, or maybe a slow Wes Anderson film. Set in the fictional city of Urbana, France (it’s next to the Champagne region). I see a rat in a chef’s hat. A seemingly stressful situation, but the characters lean on the local hot club band to ease their minds while navigating their precarious positions. Oh, and there’s a chase scene involving an accordion!

SP: If you could transport the entire band back in time to perform or record with any artist or ensemble, who would it be and why? How do you think your modern twist on jazz would blend with their era’s sound?

Hot Club of Urbana: The obvious choice for us would be to record with Django Reinhardt or Stéphane Grappelli, the guitarist and violinist of The Hot Club de France. We know a bunch of their tunes and experiencing the jazz scene in Paris in the 1930s would be wild! Maybe we can bring some funky rhythms back in time with us.

SP: If you could pick one former venue located in the C-U area to play at, what would it be and why?

Hot Club of Urbana: The Iron Post is also an obvious choice here. We grew up in Urbana and played at the Iron Post back when we were in high school. It was the jazz spot in town for most of our lives until it closed and the Rose Bowl picked up that mantle. Think of how many young musicians got their start thanks to Paul Wirth.

You can check out Hot Club of Urbana on their Facebook and Instagram pages, and see them perform live at the Rose Bowl Thursday evening.

Hot Club of Urbana
Rose Bowl Tavern
Th February 15th, 7:30 p.m.
tips in bucket

Music Editor

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