Visit this artist's website: http://www.pinkmartini.com
“Pink Martini is a rollicking around-the-world musical adventure… if the United Nations had a house band in 1962, hopefully we’d be that band.”
– Thomas Lauderdale, bandleader/pianist
In 1994 in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, Thomas Lauderdale was working in politics, thinking that one day he would run for mayor. Like other eager politicians-in-training, he went to every political fundraiser under the sun… but was dismayed to find the music at these events underwhelming, lackluster, loud, and un-neighborly. Drawing inspiration from music from all over the world – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop – and hoping to appeal to conservatives and liberals alike, he founded the “little orchestra” PINK MARTINI in 1994 to provide more beautiful and inclusive musical soundtracks for political fundraisers for causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, the environment, libraries, public broadcasting, education, and parks.
One year later, Lauderdale called China Forbes, a Harvard classmate who was living in New York City, and asked her to join Pink Martini. They began to write songs together. Their first song, “Sympathique,” became an overnight sensation in France.
Featuring a dozen musicians, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and North America. Pink Martini made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998 under the direction of Norman Leyden. Since then, the band has gone on to play with more than 50 orchestras around the world, including multiple engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the San Francisco Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London. Other appearances include the grand opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall, with return sold-out engagements for New Year’s Eve 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2011; four sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall; the opening party of the remodeled Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the Governor’s Ball at the 80th Annual Academy Awards in 2008; the opening of the 2008 Sydney Festival in Australia; and two sold-out concerts at Paris’ legendary L’Olympia Theatre in 2011. In its 20th year, Pink Martini was inducted into both the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.
Pink Martini’s debut album Sympathique was released independently in 1997 on the band’s own label Heinz Records (named after Lauderdale’s dog), and quickly became an international phenomenon. Pink Martini released Hang On Little Tomato in 2004, Hey Eugene! in 2007, and Splendor In the Grass in 2009. In November 2010 the band released Joy to the World – a festive, multi-denominational holiday album featuring songs from around the globe. All five albums have gone gold in France, Canada, Greece, and Turkey.
In Fall 2011 the band released two albums – A Retrospective, a collection of the band’s most beloved songs spanning its 18-year career, which includes eight previously unreleased tracks, and 1969, an album of collaborations with legendary Japanese singer Saori Yuki.
In January 2012 bandleader Thomas Lauderdale began work on Pink Martini’s seventh studio album when he recorded the Charlie Chaplin song “Smile” with the legendary Phyllis Diller. The album, titled Get Happy, was released in September 2013 and features 16 globe-spanning songs in nine languages. The band’s beloved vocalist China Forbes anchors the recording, and she is joined by her new co-lead singer Storm Large, recording with Pink Martini for the first time. While still in the studio for Get Happy, Lauderdale simultaneously began work on the band’s eighth studio album, Dream a Little Dream, released in March 2014.
Pink Martini’s ninth studio album, Je dis oui!, features vocals from China Forbes, Storm Large, Ari Shapiro, fashion guru Ikram Goldman, Kathleen Saadat, and Rufus Wainwright, and was released worldwide in November 2016.