Pink Martini is a "little orchestra" from Portland, Oregon, formed in 1994 by pianist Thomas Lauderdale—with lead singer and former Harvard classmate China Forbes joining Lauderdale a year later. The band draws inspiration from music from all over the world – crossing genres of classical, jazz and classic pop. Featuring a dozen or more regular 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 and New Zealand, South America and North America. The band 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 played with more than 25 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 and the BBC Concert Orchestra in London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Other appearances include two 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 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, 2004 and 2008. All five Pink Martini albums have gone gold in France, Canada, Greece and Turkey, and have sold well over 2 million copies worldwide.
"All of us in Pink Martini have studied different languages as well as different styles of music from different parts of the world," says bandleader and pianist Thomas Lauderdale. "So inevitably, our repertoire is wildly diverse. At one moment, you feel like you're in the middle of a samba parade in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next moment, you're in a French music hall of the 1930s or a palazzo in Napoli. It's a bit like an urban musical travelogue. We're very much an American band (with a hint of Mad Men), but we spend a lot of time abroad and therefore have the incredible diplomatic opportunity to represent a broader, more inclusive America - the America which remains the most heterogeneously populated country in the world composed of people of every country, every language, every religion."
The band has collaborated and performed with numerous artists, such as Jimmy Scott, Carol Channing, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Michael Feinstein, filmmaker Gus Van Sant, Chi Chi Valenti, NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro, and the original cast of Sesame Street. Pink Martini has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, the BBC’s Later with Jools Holland, Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and NPR’s Toast of the Nation. They have been featured in films including In the Cut, Shanghai Kiss, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Also TV programs including The West Wing and The Sopranos.
“Sumptuous musicianship.” – The Guardian (London)
“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.
“Impeccably suave…combines class and kitsch, swooning nostalgia, and delirious romance.”
-- Telegraph (London)
BILL AND DONNA MARSHALL DIANA AND JERRY SENTURIA
RONNEY LYSTER AND ABEL TOLL OF THE AUTOSAVER GROUP