Join the Hot Fan Club

by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS

There’ll be a special on the menu next Friday at Traditions Café: Seattle’s Hot Club Sandwich, a multilayered creation of gypsy jazz, classic jazz and international folk tunes. Founded here in Olympia at the turn of the last century, Sandwich has won rave reviews from critics and played on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. One of the quintet’s favorite gigs, though, is its once- or twice-yearly visit to Traditions, said mandolinist and multi-instrumentalist Matt Sircely of Port Townsend. “Traditions is one of our favorite places to play,” he said. “We’re all big fans, and we all love fair trade. … They get great audiences. It’s definitely a hometown feeling all the way.” Indeed, for bassist James Schneider, a professor at South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia is home.

Album number five, No Pressure — the title track for which was composed by the group’s 75-year-old guitarist, Ray Wood — drops any time now, and audiences can expect to hear a lot of its tunes Friday night. Legendary mandolinist David Grisman makes a guest appearance on No Pressure. “He’s one of our heroes,” Sircely said.

Also in the Club are guitarist Kevin Connor and drummer, vocalist Joseph Mascorella and SPSCC professor James Pettit. All five members compose, arrange and sing, and each has other projects cooking. But Sircely said the Sandwich has a rare quality. “We’ve always operated as a cooperative,” he said. “Everybody helps with every part of being a band. … It’s like having a bunch of brothers. We learned a lot of music together in our 20s, and we’ve developed our music together over nearly 20 years. I feel really lucky.”

What: Hot Club Sandwich

Where: Traditions Café,
300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia

When: noon, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15

How much: $10-$15

Get tickets: 360-705-2819 | Traditions Café

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