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by Daniel Hathaway

pink-martiniPortland’s “Little Orchestra,” Pink Martini, made a big impression when they first appeared with The Cleveland Orchestra in March of 2010. The ensemble, anchored by the inimitable pianist Thomas Lauderdale and the charismatic vocalist China Forbes (back after a successful operation on her vocal chords) returned to spread a lot of sophisticated holiday cheer last night at Severance Hall with The Cleveland Orchestra as its distinguished backup band. The delectable program, stylishly conducted by James Feddeck (and to be repeated on Wednesday evening), was enhanced by two special guests with Portland roots: NPR commentator Ari Shapiro and clarinetist Norman Leyden, whose performances added special personality to some of the nearly twenty songs — music both for the season and for all seasons. Read the rest of this entry »


by Mike Telin

Let’s facepink-martini it, people have ideas everyday, but not all of them are good. In 1994 in Portland, Oregon, the politically active Thomas Lauderdale had grown tried of attending fundraising events that featured music he found to be “underwhelming, lackluster, loud and un-neighborly.” Lauderdale, a lover of music from around the world, decided to form a band that would perform music that wove together the genres of classical, jazz and old- fashioned pop. The band would “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.” Above all, both liberals and conservatives would enjoy the music. Eighteen years later, its clear that Lauderdale’s idea to form the “little orchestra” Pink Martini, was a good idea.

On December 18 & 19 at 8:00 pm, Pink Martini returns to Severance Hall for a holiday celebration with The Cleveland Orchestra, under the direction of James Feddeck. Described as a “globally-inclusive holiday concert for the 21st century,” the concert features the band’s popular favorites along with holiday classics such as “White Christmas,” “Santa Baby,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “We Three Kings,” and more. Read the rest of this entry »

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Daniel Hathaway
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