Truly 'Back By Popular Demand' PINK MARTINI Returns To The McCallum With China Forbes And Storm Large

Truly 'Back By Popular Demand' PINK MARTINI Returns To The McCallum With China Forbes And Storm Large

Pink Martini, a McCallum favorite returns for eight great shows Friday, February 9, through Thursday, February 15. In 1994 in his hometown of Portland, Thomas Lauderdale was working in politics, with the intention of eventually running for office. Like other eager politicians-in-training, he went to every political fundraiser under the sun, 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 musical 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 over 25 languages on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South America and North America. Pink Martini 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 70 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; the Cleveland Orchestra; the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House; and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London.
Other appearances include the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, with return sold-out engagements for New Year's Eve 2003, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2016; 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; sold out shows with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House; sold-out concerts at Royal Albert Hall in London in 2011, 2013 and 2016; multiple sold-out appearances, and a festival opening, at the Montreal Jazz Festival; two sold-out concerts at Paris' L'Olympia Theatre in 2011 and 2016; and Paris' fashion house Lanvin's 10-year anniversary celebration for designer Alber Elbaz in 2012. In 2014, Pink Martini was inducted into both the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

Television appearances include "The Late Show with David Letterman," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Later with Jools Holland," and a feature on "CBS Sunday Morning." The band created a nationally broadcast 2015 NPR holiday concert special, "Joy to the World: A Holiday Spectacular," and has been featured on multiple New Year's Eve broadcasts on NPR's "Toast of the Nation."

Pink Martini's debut album Sympathique was released in 1997 on the band's own label Heinz Records (named after Thomas' dog), and 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 in 2000. Pink Martini released Hang on Little Tomato in 2004, Hey Eugene! in 2007, and Splendor in the Grass in 2009. In November 2010, the band released Joy to the World, a festive, multi-denominational holiday album featuring songs from around the globe. All five albums have gone Gold in France, Canada, Greece and Turkey.

In Fall 2011, the band released two albums, A Retrospective, a collection of the band's most beloved songs spanning their career, which included eight previously unreleased tracks, and 1969, an album of collaborations with legendary Japanese singer Saori Yuki which was certified Platinum in Japan. 1969 marked the first time a Japanese artist hit the American Billboard charts since Kyu Sakamoto released "Sukiyaki" in 1963.

The band has collaborated with numerous artists, including Phyllis Diller; Jimmy Scott; Carol Channing; Rita Moreno; Jane Powell; Rufus Wainwright; Japanese legends Saori Yuki and Hiroshi Wada; Henri Salvador; Chavela Vargas; New York performer Joey Arias; puppeteer Basil Twist; Georges Moustaki; Michael Feinstein; Charo; Doc Severinsen; filmmaker Gus Van Sant; Courtney Taylor Taylor of The Dandy Warhols; clarinetist and conductor Norman Leyden; Italian actress and songwriter Alba Clemente' DJ Johnny Dynell and Chi Chi Valenti; Faith Prince; Mamie Van Doren; the original cast of "Sesame Street;" the Portland Youth Philharmonic; Mariachi Aztlan of Pueblo High School in Tucson; Jefferson High School Gospel Choir; Royal Blues of Grant High School; Pacific Youth Choir of Portland; and Karen Early (who played Sleigh Bells and crash cymbals on the band's holiday album and the band's collaborative album with Japanese singer Saori Yuki).

Pink Martini has an illustrious roster of regular guest artists: NPR's Ari Shapiro, host of "All Things Considered;" Cantor Ida Rae Cahana (who was cantor at the Central Synagogue in NYC for five years); koto player Masumi Timson; harpist Maureen Love; and Kim Hastreiter (the publisher/editor-in-chief of Paper magazine).

In 2012, bandleader Thomas began work on Pink Martini's seventh studio album when he recorded the Charlie Chaplin song "Smile" with Phyllis Diller. The album, titled Get Happy, was released in 2013 and featured 16 globe-spanning songs in nine languages. The band's beloved vocalist China Forbes anchors the recording, and she was joined by her co-lead singer Storm Large, recording with Pink Martini for the first time, along with a cavalcade of special guests including Rufus Wainwright, Philippe Katerine, Meow Meow, the von Trapps and Ari Shapiro.

And while still in the studio for Get Happy, Thomas simultaneously began work on the band's eighth studio album, Dream a Little Dream, featuring Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp, the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp, made famous by The Sound of Music. These siblings have been singing together for 12 years and have toured the world in concert and are frequent guest performers with Pink Martini. The album, released in 2014, traverses the world, from Sweden to Rwanda to China to Bavaria, and features guest appearances by The Chieftains, Wayne Newton, "Jungle" Jack Hanna, and Charmian Carr (who played Liesl in the original Sound of Music).

In 2016, Pink Martini released its ninth studio album, Je dis oui!, featuring vocals from China Forbes, Storm Large, Ari Shapiro, fashion guru Ikram Goldman, civil rights activist Kathleen Saadat, and Rufus Wainwright. The album's 15 tracks span eight languages (French, Farsi, Armenian, Portuguese, Arabic, Turkish, Xhosa and English), and affirms the band's 23-year history of global inclusivity and collaborative spirit.

Thomas Lauderdale
Thomas Lauderdale was raised in rural Indiana and began piano lessons at age six. When his family moved to Portland in 1982, he began studying with Sylvia Killman, who remains his coach and mentor today. At the age of 14, he made his first appearance with the Oregon Symphony under the direction of Norman Leyden. Active in Oregon politics since he was student body president at Grant High School, Thomas served under Portland Mayor Bud Clark and Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt. In 1991, he worked under Portland City Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury on the drafting and passage of the city's civil rights ordinance. He graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in History and Literature in 1992. He spent most of his collegiate years, however, taking on the role of "cruise director," throwing waltzes with live orchestras and ice sculptures, disco masquerades, and operating a Tuesday night coffeehouse called Café Mardi. Instead of running for political office, he founded Pink Martini in 1994.
Pink Martini and Thomas are Oregon's "musical ambassadors to the world," performing a multilingual repertoire on concert stages from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl to Royal Albert Hall, and with more than 50 symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Americas. Thomas currently serves on the boards of the Oregon Symphony and Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon.

China Forbes
China Forbes (vocals) was?born and raised in?Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she graduated cum?laude from Harvard University and was?awarded the Jonathan Levy?Prize for acting. She?appeared in New York?regional theatre and off-off Broadway productions, earning her?Equity card alongside future stars of stage and screen such as?Norm Lewis, Peter Jacobson and Rainn Wilson. In 1994, she put her first?band together and played regularly at New York City clubs CBGB's Gallery, Mercury Lounge and Brownies. Her first solo album, Love Handle,?was released in 1995 and she was chosen to sing?"Ordinary Girl," the theme song?to the TV show Clueless.?At that same time, she was plucked from?New York City by Harvard classmate Thomas Lauderdale to sing?with Pink Martini, and has since written many of Pink?Martini's most beloved songs with Thomas, including "Sympathique," "Lilly," "Clementine," "Let's Never Stop Falling?in Love," "Over the Valley," and a "A Snowglobe?Christmas," which can be heard on Pink Martini's holiday album?Joy to the World. Her original song "Hey Eugene" is the title?track of Pink Martini's third album and many of her songs be heard on television and film. ?She sang?"Qué Será Será" over the?opening and closing credits of Jane Campion's film In the Cut,?and her original song "The Northern Line" appears at the end of sister Maya Forbes' directorial debut Infinitely Polar Bear in 2015. With Pink Martini, China has appeared on "The Late Show with?David Letterman," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The Tonight?Show with Jay Leno" and "Later with Jools Holland." She has?performed songs in more than twelve languages and has sung duets?with Michael Feinstein, Jimmy Scott, Georges Moustaki, Henri?Salvador, Saori Yuki, Faith Prince, Carol Channing and Rufus?Wainwright. She has performed in numerous venues from Carnegie Hall?to the Hollywood Bowl to the Grand Rex in Paris. She released?her second solo album'78 on Heinz Records in 2008, a?collection of autobiographical folk-rock songs.?In 2011, China took a leave of absence?from Pink Martini to undergo surgery on her vocal chords and to spend time with her son.?Thankfully, all went very well and she is thrilled to be back on?stage singing every chance she gets.?

Storm Large
Storm Large (vocals) shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on CBS's "Rock Star: Supernova." She spent the '90s singing in San Francisco clubs, then moved to Portland to pursue a new career as a chef. A last-minute cancellation in 2002 at Portland club Dante's turned into a standing Wednesday night engagement for Storm and her band and renewed her singing career. Storm made he debut with Pink Martini in 2011, singing four sold-out concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. She continues to perform with the band, touring nationally and internationally, and was featured on their CD Get Happy. Storm has sung with k.d. lang, pianist Kirill Gerstein, punk rocker John Doe, Rufus Wainwright, and George Clinton. She debuted with the Oregon Symphony in 2010, and returns for sold out performances each year. Storm debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2013, singing Weill's Seven Deadly Sins with the Detroit Symphony. In 2007, she starred in Portland Center Stage's production of Cabaret. Her autobiographical musical memoir, Crazy Enough, played to packed houses during a 21-week sold out run in Portland in 2009. Storm performed a cabaret version of the show to at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Australia's Adelaide Festival, and Joe's Pub in New York. Her memoir, Crazy Enough(2012), was an Oprah Book of the Week, and received the 2013 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. In 2010, she starred at the Mark Taper Forum in Harps and Angels, a musical featuring the work of Randy Newman. In the 2013/14 season, Storm and her band, Le Bonheur, performed around the country in an evening called "Taken by Storm." In 2014, she appeared at the Ojai Festival with the orchestra The Knights and the vocal ensemble Hudson Shad. In 2014, Storm & Le Bonheur released Le Bonheur, a collection of titillating love songs. Storm also made her debut with the New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Houston Symphony and The RTE Concert Orchestra in Dublin, among others.

"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

The opening performance of Pink Martini at 8:00pm on Friday, February 9, is presented through the generosity of Helene Galen and Donna MacMillan.

Performance times for Pink Martini:

Friday, February 9, at 8:00pm
Saturday, February 10, at 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday, February 11, at 7:00pm
Tuesday, February 13, at 8:00pm
Wednesday, February 14, at 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Thursday, February 15, at 8:00pm

Tickets for these performances are $27 - $97, depending on performance time and seating. Tickets are available at the Theatre's website at or by calling the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-ARTS.

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From This Author David Green


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