Since 1998, the Western swing-gypsy jazz trio Hot Club of Cowtown has traveled the world bringing their own brand of magical musical chemistry to audiences far and wide. Along with vocalist Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin are equal partners in this original marriage of gypsy-jazz-inspired by the music of Django Reinhardt — which accounts for the Hot Club portion of their name. The hoedowns, traditional tunes, and Western swing-inspired music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, represent the Cowtown of their name. They have created a legacy of the preservation of musical traditions that have often been overlooked by the mainstream and alternative music worlds. Even Americana and roots enthusiasts have only scratched surface of the multitude of musicians, past and present, who continue to inspire the Hot Club of Cowtown.
The band has a long list of accomplishments since their first album, Swingin’ Stampede, first appeared in 1998 on HighTone records. Most notably, they are marking their 20th anniversary during the 2017-2018 touring season. They have released nine studio albums and they are among the youngest members ever to have been inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame. A considerable accomplishment for a band that have migrated their way from New England and the Midwest by way of New York City. They have most recently been named Western Swing Group of the year in 2015 at the Ameripolitan Music Awards (a new genre created by Dale Watson to recognize roots-influenced bands). In 2015 Elana James won for Western Swing Female as well. The band has represented the U.S. State Department as Musical Ambassadors over the past several years to places as diverse as Azerbaijan, Algeria, Armenia, the Republic of Georgia, and the Sultanate of Oman. Their festival appearances have been diverse and numerous including jazz, bluegrass and country festivals throughout the UK, Europe, Japan, Australia and North America.