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HOT CLUB SANDWICH live at the 2006 Jazz Festival!

Hot Club SandwichHot Club Sandwich playing live at the Nelson Jazz Festival with Christchurch violinist Fiona Pears and Christchurch guitarist Bob Heinz.

Hot Club Sandwich is an energetic acoustic swing trio from Wellington, New Zealand, who play an eclectic repertoire of jazz, blues, swing standards and original songs. The trio began in the early 1990s at a recording session involving guitarist/singer Andrew London and pianist/bass player Terry Crayford. The brief was to record some well-known standards in the style of the ?Quintette du Hot Club de France?. A splendid time was had by all and the Hot Club Sandwich was born.

London and Crayford spent the next few years playing this style and repertoire with a variety of ?floating? third members, including guitarists, violinists, saxophonists and harmonica players, before circumstances allowed them to pursue ?Sandwich? activity on a full-time basis in 2000. Elements of country, blues, folk and rock?n?roll were added to the mix and the end result is now almost uncategorisable, although the choice of third member tends to dictate the direction of any given performance; eg. a harmonica will always suit blues styles, violins are particularly suited to country or bluegrass styles and ?Hot Club? swing etc.

2001 saw the release of their first album of original material. Entitled ?Enjoy Yourself or Get Out?, the CD contained quirky songs about dead pets, sports fans and fashion victims, and featured local Wellington musicians Nik Brown on violin and Neil Billington on harmonica. In mid-2003 they released a live album of tracks culled from a series of performances at Wellington?s ?Verandah? caf?, which featured Billington?s harmonica, English saxophonist Johnny Lippiett on tenor, and bass player/vocalist James Cameron on bass with Crayford moving to piano.

Their second album of originals was released early in 2004. Recorded at Wellington?s Matrix Digital Studios and entitled ?Toasted?, the theme of quirky subject matter continued with songs about television evangelists, caf? culture and Wellington nightlife. Among the guest musicians are Americans Bill Ware (vibraphone), Buddy Wachter (banjo & mandolin) and Christchurch violinist Fiona Pears, on leave from her contract with Hayley Westenra. ?Toasted? achieved the rare feat of a four-star review in Downbeat USA in August 2005. (see

A second live album was released in mid-2005. Entitled ?Live at Old St Paul?s? , tracks were compiled from a series of live recordings at an historic cathedral in Wellington which hosts a monthly jazz night. Along with London on guitar and Crayford on piano, guests include James Cameron on Bass, Johnny Lippiett on sax and Christchurch guitarist Bob Heinz. By this time the Hot Club Sandwich trio had become well established on the national Festivals circuit, appearing in New Plymouth, Wanganui, Tauranga, Wanaka, Wellington, Nelson, Taupo and Christchurch between 2002 and 2005. Their recordings have become a staple on National Radio and they have several television appearances to their credit.