Pink Martini Joins the Pacific Symphony for the First Pops Concert of 2014, 1/23-25
It's indeed a happy new year when the awesome genre-crossing Big Band sound of Pink Martini performs with Pacific Symphony for the first Pops concert of 2014! With eclectic flavors from around the world and classic spunk, Pink Martini really is the perfect concoction. The energetic and enthusiastic "little orchestra" finds its musical inspiration from cultures around the world, easily jumping from genres like pop, jazz and classical to establish its own unique blend of music. Formed in Portland, Ore., the 12-member ensemble has been a popular favorite in many countries for more than a decade with its revitalization of vintage Big Band sound, in combination with 1940s jazz, cross-cultural rhythms and much more! The group is known for songs that range from "Je ne veux pas travailler (I don't want to work)," the Doris Day hit "Que Sera, Sera," "Lets Never Stop Falling in Love" and "Hey, Eugene!"
Performing for the first time with the Symphony in 2010, Pink Martini returns with a new lead singer, Storm Large, led by guest conductor, Albert-George Schram. Special guests The von Trapp Family, who are currently working on a collaborative album with Pink Martini, also join the fun. The concert takes place Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 23-25, at 8 p.m, in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $45-$195; for more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.pacificsymphony.org.
Band leader Thomas Lauderdale says: "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."
The formation of Pink Martini can be attributed to dull political fundraisers, at which Lauderdale was a frequent guest due to his politcal aspirations. As a musically inclined individual, he noticed a lack of musical talent at these functions and sought a solution: Pink Martini! Lauderdale asked a fellow Harvard classmate, China Forbes, to join Pink Martini and they began playing gigs in Oregon. Their originality and diversity had caused them to grow quickly in popularity and today Pink Martini travels all over the world performing with symphony orchestras. As if their assemblage was meant to be, the ensemble's first song "Sympathetique" was an instant hit in France and was nominated for "Song of the Year" at France's Victoires de la Musique Awards. On an interesting note, the lyrics "Je ne veux pas travailler" or "I don't want to work" from the hit song, still remains a chant for striking French workers today.
"Americans don't really sing together anymore...except for church...or maybe the shower," says Lauderdale. "For me, Pink Martini is partially an attempt to rebuild a culture which sings and dances. The overarching goal is to create a cohesive body of beautiful songs with beautiful melodies-and then it all just extends outward from there."
The group released their latest album "Get Happy" in September 2013, which features a parade of vocal royalty, including the exotic cabaret sensation Meow Meow, Philippe Katerine, Ari Shapiro and The von Trapps featuring Rufus Wainwright! Held together by the beloved and elegant voice of China Forbes, along with the dazzling co-lead singer Storm Large, who made her recording debut with them, the album features 16 songs selected and arranged by Lauderdale, and includes songs in German, French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Farsi, Turkish and Romanian.
Carrying on their family's famous story are the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp. Sofi, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp are four siblings who, for the last 12 years, have been performing around the world to critical acclaim and packed houses. They have appeared in concert at the Hollywood Bowl, The Sydney Opera House, The Forbidden City in Beijing, Seoul Square, Korea, the Grand Ole Opry, Austin City Limits and at La Nuit des Choeurs Festival in Belgium. The von Trapps made their Carnegie Hall debut in December 2012 with Pink Martini and the New York Pops Orchestra under the direction of Steven Reineke. They have also appeared with dozens of major symphony orchestras in the United States and Canada, including Pacific Symphony, the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Toronto Symphony and Nashville Symphony among others. They have appeared on Today, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, The View and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Equally adept at conducting classical and pops programs, Schram, who last guest- conducted Pacific Symphony for a concert featuring Gershwin music in March 2012, has led a wide variety of repertoire for many orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. He is currently resident conductor of the Nashville Symphony and resident staff conductor of the Columbus (Ohio) and Charlotte symphonies. He has conducted classical, pops, holiday and educational concerts for all three orchestras. He has also served as music director of the Lubbock (Texas) Symphony and the Lynn (Fla.) Philharmonic, and has held titled positions with the Louisville and Florida Philharmonic orchestras. Schram's guest-conducting roster has included the symphonies of Dallas, Charlotte, Tucson, New Orleans (Louisiana Philharmonic), Oklahoma City, Spokane, Dayton and San Antonio, among others.
Schram's conducting engagements abroad have been with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Taegu Symphony in Korea, the Orquestra Sinfonica Nacional of Bolivia, the Orquestra Sinfonica Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (in Mendoza, Argentina), the National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan and the Orchester der Allgemeinen Musikgesellschaft in Lucerne, Switzerland.