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 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 and hoping to appeal to conservatives and liberals alike, he founded the “little orchestra” Pink Martini in 1994. One year later, Lauderdale called China Forbes, a Harvard classmate who was living in New York City, and asked her to join Pink Martini. The rest, as they say, is history.
Pink Martini has released eight best-selling albums of tuneful, sultry songs in 25 languages that blend world, jazz, pop, lounge and classical styles. They are playing at the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center in Chester, NY this Wednesday and at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA on Monday, July 13th.