Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
4667 Telegraph Road
Part language lesson, part old-fashioned Hollywood spectacle, the Portland, Oregon-based ‘little orchestra’ has become an international phenomenon, with chart topping albums, and an order from the President of the United Nations General Assembly for albums to pass out at his first official meeting.
Pink Martini was created in 1994 by Harvard graduate and classically trained pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale to play political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, and public broadcasting.
Lauderdale met Forbes, Pink Martini’s captivating lead vocalist, when the pair was at Harvard. He was studying literature and history while she was studying visual arts, English literature and theatre. Late into the night on the Harvard campus, Forbes would sing Verdi and Puccini arias while Lauderdale accompanied her on piano, and it was not until several years later that Lauderdale tempted Forbes to join Pink Martini and move to Portland from New York.
Pink Martini has since performed with symphony orchestras across the country including four night nights with the Boston Pops in 2005, multiple concerts with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in 2000, two nights with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on a co-bill with Sergio Mendes in 2002 and two nights headlining with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2005. Other appearances include the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, with return sold-out engagements for New Year’s Eve 2003 and 2004; the opening party of the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Kennedy Center and the William Morris Agency’s 100th birthday celebration with soul legend, Al Green.
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, garnering the group nominations for “Song of the Year” and “Best New Artist” in France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards. Seven long years later the highly anticipated follow-up, “Hang on Little Tomato,” was released and climbed to #1 on Amazon.com’s best sellers list.
“We’re kind of like musical archaeologists, bringing melodies and rhythms from different parts of the world together to create something which is modern,” says founder and pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale. “It’s like an urban musical travelogue...and I think as citizens of the world and in a sense as musical ambassadors for the United States, we must always strive to study the languages, customs and histories of other countries. We’re very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad, in Europe, in Turkey, in Lebanon and therefore have the opportunity to demonstrate that Americans are indeed serious about engaging in a dialogue with the rest of the world.”
Program will be announced from the stage.