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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. Dream a Little Dream, a mix of standards and original songs, was released in March 2014. That August, the band mourned the passing of conga player and percussionist Derek Rieth; a memorial drum parade was held in his honor that September. ~ Alex Henderson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Get Happy

1. Ich Dich Liebe

2. Quizas, Quizas, Quizas

3. I'm Waiting For You

4. Omide Zendegani

5. Yo Te Quiero Siempre

6. Je Ne T'aime Plus

7. Zundoko

8. Pana Cand Nu Te Iubeam

9. She Was Too Good To Me

10. Uskudar

11. Sway

12. Kitty Come Home

13. What'll I Do

14. Get Happy/Happy Days

15. Heliotrope Bouquet

16. Smile

x

Track List: Splendor In The Grass

1. Ninna Nanna

2. Ohayoo Ohio

3. Splendor In The Grass

4. Ou Est Ma Tete?

5. And Then You're Gone

6. But Now I'm Back

7. Sunday Table

8. Over The Valley

9. Tuca Tuca

10. Bitty Boppy Betty

11. Sing

12. Piensa En Mi

13. New Amsterdam

14. Ninna Nanna (Reprise)

x

Track List: Hey Eugene!

1. Everywhere

2. Tempo Perdido

3. Mar Desconocido

4. Taya Tan

5. City Of Night

6. Ojala

7. Bukra Wba'do

8. Cante E Dance

9. Hey Eugene

10. Syracuse

11. Dosvedanya Mio Bombino

12. Tea For Two

x

Track List: Hang On Little Tomato

1. Let's Never Stop Falling In Love

2. Anna (El Negro Zumbon)

3. Hang On Little Tomato

4. The Gardens Of Sampson & Beasley

5. Veronique

6. Dansez-vous

7. Lilly

8. Autrefois

9. U Plavu Zoru

10. Clementine

11. Una Notte A Napoli

12. Kikuchiyo To Mohshimasu

13. Aspettami

14. Song Of The Black Swan

x

Track List: Sympathique

1. Amado Mio

2. No Hay Problema

3. Sympathique

4. Que Sera Sera

5. La Soledad

6. Donde Estas, Yolanda?

7. Andalucia

8. Song Of The Black Lizard

10. Never On Sunday

11. Brazil

12. Lullaby

Comments

Report as inappropriate
jgkaefer
Kiss your left hand
Say your crushes name
Pick a day of the week
Post this on 15 songs and your crush will kiss you on the day you picked
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O i forgot to say they are flooded
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I would never ask for this but my fellow texans are in absolute hell ,anything u can give,red cross i promise it will go to them
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Love it!
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wsociallady2 0 0 2
LOVE your sound!
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Love it
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I have been litsening to Pink Martinia for just about all of my life. It immediately makes me smile when I hear one of there songs. My dad still plays them all the time. Love them! Keep making great music guys!❤️
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VIVA PINK !!!!!!!!!
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Saw PM last night. . AMAZING! !
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Ding-aling
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Musical cristiana
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Just saw Pink Martini in Chico CA. Uplifting but mostly blown away by their collective talent. Bravo to their music and their mission. It works!!!
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T'amo Pink Martini Una Notte a Napoli☺️
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O lillianna ,u are the bomba,i did not know how much i missed u ,o lilli
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SEMPRE PIACEVOLE !!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Love the name...Pink Martini..... . . h i c
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Well, then, Topwop619, you just got very lucky.
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I typed pink Floyd not pink martini
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She's absolutley adorable
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I am soooooooo excited. I'm going to see pink martini at the Hollywood Bowl!!
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Just saw Pink Martini at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado. For those of you have not experienced concerts at Red Rocks you are missing out on a fabulous venue. Anyway, besides the wonderful setting, great weather and audience, Pink Martini put on a concert that I will forever remember and cement my love of their music.
Report as inappropriate
Keeps me on my toes! Literally! Love the music as I travel the world and the world travels in me musically thanks to Pink Martini!
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Very talented and thats what its all about...Tale n t !
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Yummmmmmmmmm m i , yuuuuuuuuuuu m i , I am so happpppppppp p p , u have brought life to my heart
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tpnkurtz7
Fabulous...l o v e it
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Very interesting.
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I still believe there are circles in a room full of squares,ahhh h h h h listen wow!!!!!!!!!
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Amazing..... f e e l like trapped in a Disney based auditory hallucinatio n
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O lili i miss u mi amiga
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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
Report as inappropriate
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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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!
Report as inappropriate
sandysciales 4
Sat night under the stars lovely! Molto bene
Report as inappropriate
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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