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Pink Martini

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AboutSomewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, a classical chamber music ensemble, a Brasilian marching street band and Japanese film noir is the 12-piece Pink Martini.
Part language lesson, part Hollywood musical, the Portland, Oregon-based 'little orchestra' was created in 1994 in Portland, Oregon by Harvard graduate and classically trained pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale to play at political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, clean water, and public broadcasting. The group made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival and in the years following went on to tour throughout Europe (including France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland and Monte Carlo), Greece, Turkey, Taiwan, Lebanon and the United States.

Equally at home performing its multi-lingual repertoire on concert stages and smoky bars, Pink Martini draws a wildly diverse crowd. The ensemble made its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra in 1999 under the direction of Norman Leyden. Pink Martini has also performed with the symphony orchestras of Seattle, Nashville, New Jersey, Charlotte, San Antonio, Kansas City and Jacksonville, among others. The group performed for three nights with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in 2000 and two nights with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on a co-bill with Sergio Mendes at the Hollywood Bowl in 2002.

In October 2003, Pink Martini performed at the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's new Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. They were invited back to play two sold-out performances for the hall's first New Year's Eve celebration in 2003 (and confirmed for 2004). Other appearances include the Kennedy Center, the opening of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and the William Morris Agency's 100th birthday celebration with soul legend, Al Green.

Pink Martini's debut album, Sympathique, was released independently on the band's own label, Heinz Records (after Lauderdale's dog, Heinz) and has sold over 650,000 copies worldwide. Nominated for "Song of the Year" and "Best New Artist" in France's Victoires de la Musique awards, Sympathique has gone Platinum in France and Gold in Greece.


"We're kind of like musical archaeologists, bringing melodies and rhythms from different parts of the world together to create something which is modern," says founder and pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale. "It's like an urban musical travelogue,and I think as citizens of the world and in a sense as musical ambassadors for the United States, we must always strive to study the languages, customs, and histories of other countries. We're very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad, in Europe, in Turkey, in Lebanon and therefore have the opportunity to demonstrate that Americans are indeed serious about engaging in a dialogue with the rest of the world."

"One of our goals is to make music which has broad appeal to people, no matter who they are or where they come from. We play the same set of music wherever we go, whether it's in a small farming community in Oregon or in France or Turkey or with a symphony orchestra. Music should be like a wonderful dinner party. I don't want to always sit next to people who share my opinions. I think each of us wants a hugely diverse tapestry of influences in our lives. That's what makes life much more interesting. Every day becomes an adventure."

"My hope is that we're creating exquisite musical wallpaper which can be turned up or down, and played on almost any occasion, from background music to a love affair to vacuuming around the house," Lauderdale says. "I think our music allows people to dance and sing again with its beautiful melodies and beautiful lyrics. It is entirely romantic and expresses hope and eternal optimism, all the while recognizing that there is a great amount of sadness in the world."

Most Popular Songs (More)

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Andalucia lyrics
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New Amsterdam lyrics
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La Soledad lyrics
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Sing lyrics
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Pink Martini

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