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Pink Martini

The eclectic, acoustic-oriented sounds of Pink Martini have never been easy to categorize, but that hasn't prevented the Portland, Oregon-based band from acquiring a loyal, enthusiastic cult following. Some reviewers have considered Pink Martini to be a product of the neo-swing trend of the 1990s and have compared them to bands like the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies; however, Pink Martini have a much broader range of influences. And while most of the neo-swing acts that emerged in the '90s favored a combination of jump blues and early rock & roll -- sort of Louis Jordan and Big Joe Turner by way of Little Richard, Buddy Holly, and Chuck Berry -- the diverse Pink Martini have offered a risk-taking blend of jazz (mainly swing), world music, cabaret, lounge, and '40s-'50s film music.

Pink Martini's influences are far-reaching, ranging from Cole Porter and Duke Ellington to French icon Edith Piaf to Latin greats such as Xavier Cugat, Beny Moré, and Tito Puente -- and a variety of world music has affected them, including French chanson, Afro-Cuban salsa, Argentinian tango, Brazilian samba, and bossa nova, Italian folk, Greek rembetiko, Middle Eastern music, and Asian music. Impressively, Pink Martini's lead singer, China Forbes (b. April 29, 1970, Cambridge, Massachusetts), has performed in at least ten different languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, Greek, Arabic, and Japanese. In 2004, Pink Martini founder/pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale (b. July 14, 1970, Oakland, California) articulated the band's global outlook perfectly when he said: "I think it's important to be a citizen of the world as opposed to being a citizen of this particular country. Part of that means studying other people's languages."

Lauderdale formed Pink Martini in 1994, hiring Forbes as the band's lead singer the following year. Neither Lauderdale nor Forbes is a native of Portland; Forbes, who grew up in Cambridge, met Lauderdale when both of them were attending Harvard University in the late '80s (she graduated in 1992). And Lauderdale lived in California and Indiana as a kid, although he spent his teens in Portland and moved back to Portland not long after graduating from Harvard. Forbes recorded a solo album, Love Handle, in 1995, but Pink Martini quickly became her main focus. Other members of Pink Martini have included Gavin Bondy on trumpet, Robert Taylor on trombone, Phil Baker on acoustic bass, Nicholas Crosa on violin, Brian Lavern Davis on drums and percussion, Timothy Nishimoto on percussion and vocals, and Derek Rieth and Martín Zarzar on percussion. Pink Martini's debut album, Sympathique, was released on their own independent label, Heinz Records, in 1997; they went on to release their second album, Hang on Little Tomato, on Heinz in 2004 and their third album, Hey Eugene!, on Heinz in 2007. The following year, Heinz released Forbes' second solo album, '78, which was a major departure from her work with Pink Martini and favored an introspective adult alternative approach along the lines of Natalie Merchant and Sarah McLachlan.

The year 2009 was a busy one for the band, with the concert DVD Discover the World: Live in Concert, which showed how Pink Martini spent most of their 2008, arriving that summer and the album Splendor in the Grass, which featured collaborations with Chavela Vargas and the Dandy Warhols' Courtney Taylor-Taylor, appearing that fall. In 2010 they released the swellegant holiday album Joy to the World, which featured revered Japanese singer Saori Yuki. The band collaborated with Saori again on the following year's 1969, a collection of interpretations of that year's most memorable songs. Sessions for their sixth release began in January 2012 and included a cover of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" featuring Phyllis Diller, who sadly passed away that summer. The results, Get Happy, arrived in 2013. The following year, Pink Martini collaborated with Sofia, Melanie, Amanda, and August von Trapp, the great-grandchildren of the von Trapp family, whose escape from the Nazis inspired The Sound of Music. The results were Dream a Little Dream, a mix of standards and original songs. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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jjfeuda
E-mail for Joe is jjfeuda@msn. c o m
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jjfeuda
I was the guy who danced with China on stage in Atlantic City a couple of years ago....I love her Dearly and think that the group is outstanding and a real thrill to see live....my 3rd concert Philly, Atlantic City and West Palm Beach, Fl......Joe Feuda
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A circle in a room full of sqares!
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Up Soundtrack?
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hazeldelgado 9
loooooove this band...loooo v e China Forbes
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PINK MARTINI , SIMPATICA !
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SALVE ! PINK MARTINI ! GRAZIE !!!!!!!!
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This my mantra,god has blessed me
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do not read this because it will actually work. you will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. tomorrow will be the best day of your life, however if you do not post this in two days. now you have started reading this so do not stop. this is so scary put this on about 5 other songs in 143 minutes. when you are done, press f6 and your lover's name will come up on the screen in big letters. this is so scary it actually works.

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I am in love, mmmmmmmmmm!
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Classic instant
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VIVA PINK MARTINI !
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Love the vocals and clarinet solos.
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Like ! !
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Pink Martini Radio hardly plays PM songs.
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Beautiful music, thanks Pink Martini!
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Pink Martini is a bad a** ensemble of happy boogaloo! Thanks for this a better world!
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My mom just told me to listen to this song and it is not a good song
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ftaira
Pink Martini is my favorite station here at Pandora. thank you, thank you!
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sandysciales 4
Sat night under the stars lovely! Molto bene
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NPR introduced me to them approx 4 yrs ago. Love Pink Martini station... the best for dinner/cockt a i l parties! Saw them live this weekend at OR Zoo renewed my passion for them and their music. So good!
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Love this song!!! Sounds like back in the day
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My new favorite pink martini song !!! Garden of Sampson !!
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Seen them live ! Front row! It was everything !!!
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viva! Pink Martini!! TEMPO PERDIDO e una canzone da vero bella!!
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Una notte a Napoli ! eh,la bella Italia che nostalgia... v i v a PINK MARTINI!
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uniquepdx
Musically exquisite. Appearances with major symphonies shouldn't be missed. Thomas is so grounded, funny & user-friendl y . Attitude.
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dellbo0
Just saw their 2014 concert last night in Austin. They're still terrific!! The Von Trapps are a fantastic addition. Don't miss them in concert. They just keep getting better and better.
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dave5962
If you haven't seen the DVD Discovering the World, you should. It really heightens your pleasure and appreciation about how unique and talented this band is. There are about three percussionis t s , somewhere around eight or nine violins, a cello or two, a guitarist, a trumpet, a trombone, a large harp, and occasionally a strange Japanese instrument played by one of the violinists who has Japanese antecedents (or I forgot the Japanese American who sings and does various other things up there).
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drama_skit
this song was in Sherlock fight with Watson
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Pandora never ceases to amaze me! Van dear Graaf Generator is playing on my NeoRetro station!
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Love them. Best music. Saw them at
carnegie hall. Cant wait to see them again. Juicey
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I love how eclectic and worldly their music is.
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jinahan514
amazing music!
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Great band
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Hearing storm large sing with the band tops it all....alan cousey fla
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bagglady42
I can never get enough of Pink Martini!!!! Lucky you, Lori..Have fun!!!
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Looking forward to seeing Pink Martini Dec 3. Thanks to Pandora for introducing me.
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mrg349
Definitely see them live any chance you get!! Incredible performers
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drama_skit
love them being from Portland and all
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Im from cali & have No idea what shes saying but I like her c: strange...wi s h I knew what shes saying ;c
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They always make me smile and relax.
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they are amazing! Timothy Nishimoto is HOT!!!!
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Saw them (and HEARD them) at he Beacon Theater in NYC (great venue) this past weekend. Incroyable!!
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What incredible music! Hope their fame grows and grows.
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New album coming 9/24/2013: Get Happy.
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They're really great! Wish I could see them do a live performance
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LOVE! The song Hang On Little Tomato made my heart smile...
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studb
Just discovered Pink Martini last night. Bought tickets to see their concert at the Hollywood Bowl last night. Can't believe I missed out on them for 15 years.
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Clementine reminds me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (: absolutely beautiful, I fell in love with it
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