In 1994, an aspiring politician was trying his best to become mayor. In pursuit of his goal, he made it a point to attend politically charged events. At these functions, he found the music inappropriate; it was either too loud or too rowdy. Wanting to use music as a means of communication, he felt that there was a drastic need for music that would not only bridge the gap between conservatives and liberals, but would also provide a healthy, conducive environment to discuss the issues at hand. In order to make music that was catchy and interesting, but most of all, that fit the situation that it was being played at, Thomas Lauderdale took matters into his own hands and brought together a small group of musicians that would refer to themselves as the Little Orchestra. This group grew into the Pink Martini tickets, an orchestral group that has, since its inception, created internationally loved and acclaimed music.
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Thomas Lauderdale decided to shun his political career to pursue his passion for creating beautiful music. He came together with China Forbes, an old classmate, and thus Pink Martini came into existence. Slowly, Pink Martini turned into a collection of musicians who had the same end goal in mind; the creation of music that would not only transcend boundaries but also serve as a reminder of the diversity that we enjoy, and the need to celebrate it. The first single by the band was a French song that became an instant hit, earning them their first ever nomination for “Song of the Year” at France's Victoires de la Musique Awards.Championing the eclectic mix of all genres and all types of music, Pink Martini has created a quintessentially universal sound. No matter which country you’re from, the repertoire of the group will have something for you to enjoy.
While the band assembled in 1994, their debut came three years later with the 1997 release, Sympathique. The album gave the band a meteoric rise in popularity around the world. Consequently, it also resulted in their nomination for two awards at the 2000 Victoires de la Musique Awards. A nomination not only for Song of the Year, but also Best New Artist gave the band the confidence that they needed to stay on track. To date, the band has produced seven studio albums, and their latest album, Dream a Little Dream, is slated for release later this year.
Over the band’s seventeen year run, they have achieved massive international fame. Every member brings their individuality to the band, and that allows for the music to break free from constrictions that one genre might put on their artistic thought process and evolution. With each musician in the band trained in a different language, they make sure that everybody is represented in the band’s music.
The band’s blanket genre is classic, but that does not hinder it from exploring other music. Ranging from jazz, lounge, pop and a little soul, this band has carved itself a niche as a true representative of everybody. While they continue making their own music, Pink Martini has also collaborated with other artists such as Carol Channing, Rufus Wainwright, Phyliss Diller and the cast of Sesame Street. Apart from their collaborations, they have also been featured on various soundtracks of movies and TV shows, such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Sopranos and The West Wing.
Pink Martini’s lineup now includes Thomas Lauderdale on piano, China Forbes and Storm Large on vocals, Anthony Jones on drums and various other artists covering instruments like trombone, cello and harp. Such an eclectic mix of instruments is proof that this ensemble is not just another run of the mill band. Their undeniably strong compositions and their ability to mix vastly varied genres and create a sound that remains pleasing to the ear are, perhaps unparalleled in classical music. This year, the band collaborates with the Von Trapps as they release Dream a Little Dream. Music lovers can now purchase Pink Martini tickets for the promotional tour.