McCallum Theatre Favorite PINK MARTINI With China Forbes And Storm Large Spends A Week In The Desert At Their 'Home Away From Home'

Article Pixel

McCallum Theatre Favorite PINK MARTINI With China Forbes And Storm Large Spends A Week In The Desert At Their 'Home Away From Home'

Pink Martini, a McCallum favorite, is returning for six shows, from Wednesday, March 4, through Sunday, March 8. It all started in 1994, in Thomas Lauderdale's hometown of Portland, Ore. Trained as a pianist, he was working in politics, with the intention of eventually running for office. He went to numerous political fundraisers, 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 beautiful and inclusive music for political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, the environment and affordable housing.

One year later, Thomas called China Forbes, a Harvard classmate who was living in New York City, and asked her to join Pink Martini. They began writing songs together. Their first song, "Sympathique" (Je ne veus pas travailler), became an overnight sensation in France, was nominated for "Song of the Year" at France's Victoires de la Musique Awards, and to this day, remains a mantra ("Je ne veux pas travailler" or "I don't want to work") for striking French workers.

Says Thomas, "We're very much an American band, 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. Except for Native Americans, all of us are immigrants from every country, of every language, of every religion."

Featuring a dozen musicians, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire in more than 25 languages on concert stages and with symphony orchestras worldwide, 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; the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House; and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London.

The band features two lead singers. China Forbes was born and raised in Cambridge, Mass., where she graduated cum laude from Harvard and was awarded the Jonathan Levy Prize for "most promising actor" in 1992. She appeared in New York regional theatre and Off-Off Broadway productions, earning her Equity card. In 1995, she was plucked from New York City by Harvard classmate Thomas Lauderdale to sing with Pink Martini, and has since co-written many of the band's most beloved songs with Lauderdale, including "Je ne veux pas travailler," "Lilly," "Clementine," "Let's Never Stop Falling in Love," "Over the Valley." and "A Snowglobe Christmas." Her original song "Hey Eugene" is the title song of Pink Martini's third album. Forbes has performed songs in more than 20 languages and has sung duets with Michael Feinstein, Jimmy Scott, Georges Moustaki, Henri Salvador, Saori Yuki, Faith Prince, Carol Channing, and Rufus Wainwright, among others. She has performed in venues from Carnegie Hall to Red Rocks, the Hollywood Bowl to the Grand Rex in Paris.

Musician, actor, playwright and author Storm Large shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova, where-even though she was eliminated in the week before the finale-Storm Large built a fan base that follows her around the world to this day. Storm Large spent the '90s singing in clubs throughout San Francisco. Tired of the club scene, she moved to Portland to pursue a career as a chef, but a last-minute cancellation in 2002 turned into a standing engagement for her and her new band. She made her debut as guest vocalist with the band Pink Martini in April 2011, singing four sold-out concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She continues to perform with the band, touring nationally and internationally. Storm Large made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2013, singing Weill's Seven Deadly Sins with the Detroit Symphony as part of the Spring for Music Festival. The New York Times called her "sensational."

Tickets for this performance are priced at $98, $88 and $58. Tickets are available at the Theatre's website at or by calling the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-2787.

Related Articles View More Los Angeles Stories   Shows

From This Author David Green