Monday, June 22, 2015

Pink Martini




In 1994 in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, Thomas Lauderdale was working in politics, thinking that one day he would run for mayor. Like other eager politicians-in-training, he went to every political fundraiser 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 more beautiful and inclusive musical soundtracks for political fundraisers for causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, the environment, libraries, public broadcasting, education and parks. The Robby Stubbs says 8-piece Pink Martini is a "little orchestra" unto itself, and brilliantly combines elements of classical, jazz, world music, and timeless pop that The Washington Post describes as "rich, hugely approachable music, utterly cosmopolitan yet utterly unpretentious... it seems to speak to just about everybody."

China Forbes was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The 2014 feature film Infinitely Polar Bear, written and directed by Forbes's sister Maya Forbes, was inspired by real-life events in their childhood. China Forbes attended Phillips Exeter Academy ('88), then studied visual arts at Harvard University, where she met fellow student Thomas Lauderdale, a classically trained pianist. They became friends and met regularly to play music together.

After graduating from Harvard in 1992, where she won the Jonathan Levy Prize for acting, Forbes worked as an actress for several years, performing off-Broadway in New York. She then became a musician, forming a band and recording a solo album. She sang the title song ("Ordinary Girl") for the late 1990s television series Clueless and the version of "Que Sera Sera" used over the opening and closing credits of Jane Campion's 2003 film In the Cut.

Lauderdale, who by then was living in Portland, Oregon, asked her to sing with Pink Martini, a band he had assembled to play at political fundraisers in Portland. After three years, she moved to Portland in 1998 to work full-time with the band.

Lauderdale and China Forbes began to write songs together. Their first single “Sympathique” became an overnight sensation in France, was nominated for “Song of the Year” at France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards. “All of us in Pink Martini have studied different languages as well as different styles of music from different parts of the world,” says Lauderdale. “So inevitably, our repertoire is wildly diverse. At one moment, you feel like you’re in the middle of a samba parade in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next moment, you’re in a French music hall of the 1930s or a palazzo in Napoli. It’s a bit like an urban musical travelogue. 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.” Forbes, though being monolingual, sings in 15 different languages. Featuring 10–12 musicians, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia and 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 gone on to play with more than 50 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, and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London.

Storm Large was born and raised in suburban Southborough, Massachusetts. Since around age five, she started singing and writing songs. She graduated in 1987 from St. Mark's School, a prestigious private school whose alumni include Ben Bradlee, Prince Hashim of Jordan, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt III. Her father Henry Large was a history teacher there, as well as the football team coach before he retired.

After high school, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, where she earned an associate degree in 1989.

In the early 1990s Large moved to California and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Large moved to Portland, Oregon in 2002, originally planning to quit music and attend the Western Culinary Institute, but at the urging of friends and in particular Frank Faillace, owner of the Portland rock club Dante's, she began singing again with a band she called "The Balls".

Large is most widely known for her appearances as a contestant on Rock Star: Supernova. She was eliminated on September 6, 2006 (in the last show before the season finale). After elimination, host Dave Navarro recorded a guitar track for her single "Ladylike" and she was slated to open for the band Rock Star Supernova on tour in January 2007, though she and fellow contestant Magni Ásgeirsson were dropped from the billing for financial reasons. On October 14, 2006, "Ladylike" debuted at #5 on Billboard's "Hot Singles Sales" chart.

After Pink Martini vocalist China Forbes underwent vocal cord surgery, she toured with the band from July 4 through December 16, 2011 as a temporary replacement, then joined the band on 2013 album Get Happy and as co-lead singer on the follow-up world tour.


https://youtu.be/eG2ILBRIdeI






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