About this Artist
China Forbes was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she graduated cum laude from Harvard and was awarded the Jonathan Levy Prize for “most promising actor.” She earned her Actors’ Equity card appearing in New York regional theater and off-Broadway productions while also performing regularly as a singer-songwriter in NYC clubs. Her first album Love Handle was released in 1995, and she was chosen to sing “Ordinary Girl,” the theme song to the TV show Clueless.
It was that same year Harvard classmate Thomas Lauderdale invited her to sing with Pink Martini, and she has since fronted the band as well as written many of the band’s most beloved songs with Lauderdale, including “Sympathique,” “Lilly,” “Clementine,” “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love,” and “Over the Valley,” to name a few. China’s solo original song, “Hey Eugene,” is the title track of Pink Martini’s third album, and many of her songs can also be heard on television and film. She sang “Qué Será Será” over the credits of Jane Campion’s film In the Cut, and her original song “The Northern Line” appears at the end of sister Maya Forbes’ directorial debut Infinitely Polar Bear (Sony Pictures Classics). Both films star Mark Ruffalo by coincidence.
With Pink Martini, China has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Later… with Jools Holland. She has performed songs in more than 20 languages on nine Pink Martini studio albums and has sung duets with Rufus Wainwright, Michael Feinstein, Carol Channing, and many other wonderful artists. She has performed in venues from Carnegie Hall to Red Rocks, the Hollywood Bowl to Paris’ Olympia Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Her second solo album 78 came out on Heinz Records in 2008, a collection of autobiographical folk-rock songs.
In July 2021, China released her post-pandemic anthem “Full Circle,” followed by “Rise,” a song of hope and mental-health awareness. China is currently at work on a forthcoming full-length solo album.