The Kennedy Center

Les Chauds Lapins



Biography

Les Chauds Lapins (“the hot rabbits”), led by New York’s Kurt Hoffman and Meg Reichardt, specialize in a repertoire of French swing from the 1920s through the 40s. The group has re-arranged long-forgotten French classics for banjo-ukes, string trio, guitar and winds, mixing the rootsiness of early American jazz with the lushness of a Bernard Hermann film soundtrack.

Prior to their turn as French entertainers, Meg Reichardt was best known as one fourth of the Americana group The Roulette Sisters and Kurt Hoffman as co-leader of cult instrumentals band The Ordinaires, and as sideman and arranger for such luminaries as They Might be Giants, Frank Black, and and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Like the French models they emulate, Les Chauds Lapins take their music off the grid. Their arrangements contrast scored strings and horns with vintage fretted instruments, most notably banjo ukuleles, a hybrid instrument popular in the 20s and 30s. Their new album, Amourettes oscillates between romantic and quirky, retro and modern, French and American. It appeals equally to fans of roots music, swing, and classic film soundtracks.
Les Chauds Lapins