Acclaimed fiddler & singer Elana James is a founding member, along with Whit Smith, of the hot jazz and Western swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown. The Hot Club of Cowtown was formed after Whit and Elana met through an ad Elana placed in the music section of the Village Voice in 1994 while she was working as an editorial intern at Harper’s Magazine. Playing with Whit at night and on weekends, by the fall of that year James had every intention of living a normal life before music eventually edged out everything else. They moved to Austin in 1998, joined up with bassist Jake Erwin in 2000, and all three have been touring and recording as the Hot Club of Cowtown ever since.In 2015 James was named Western Swing Female of the Year at the Ameripolitan Music Awards, held in Austin, Texas, and the Hot Club of Cowtown was awarded Western Swing Group of the Year. Both were nominated in 2014 as well, the first year the Ameripolitan Music awards came into being.