The Hot Sardines to perform at Stephens Auditorium

Abbey Lingenfelter

The Hot Sardines — a foot-stomping, eight-member jazz group — will bring a performance sure to take audience members back to the music of the 1920s at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Stephens Auditorium.

Tickets for the show are available via Ticketmaster and at the Stephens Auditorium ticket office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Prices range between $22 and $56.

An experienced member of the entertainment world, Evan “Bibs” Palazzo, the co-leader of the Hot Sardines with Miz Elizabeth, is full of talent. A self-taught pianist at age 3, Palazzo graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pa., with an emphasis in acting. Palazzo never thought he would change his career from acting to focus on his musical talent.

“I always wanted to be a performer — [or becoming] a filmmaker [or] an actor,” Palazzo said. “I enjoy being a performer, so however I get to do that is wonderful. Nothing comes close to the kind of opportunity to spread this music.”

As Palazzo became more aware that he wanted to pursue music, he followed up on a Craigslist posting for an open jazz concert. This is where fate intervened. After playing together once, Elizabeth and Palazzo decided to continue but never dreamed of being so successful or performing all across the world.

“[We are] a happy family traveling the road and playing music we love,” Palazzo said. “It’s the truth, [and] we love what we do.”

The goal of the Hot Sardines is to take music initially written at the turn of the 20th century and modernize it, while influencing today’s generation to appreciate the popular music of the past.

“[The Hot Sardines spread] the music — which is 100 years old in some cases — to new generations, [but] we present it in a way that’s very [aware] that we are in 2015,” Palazzo said. “Even though we are playing this old music, you know, wearing a fedora or whatever, we aren’t trying to repeat the past but show that this music is joyous.”

For more information about tour dates and tickets, visit The Hot Sardines’ website or the Iowa State Center’s event page.