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Thomas Lauderdale and China Forbes

Pink Martini: a wacky band performing in 25 languages

By Manon Variol

Many have probably never heard of Pink Martini. Yet, their very first song is really well-known, particularly in France. “Je ne veux pas travailler, je ne veux pas déjeuner, je veux seulement l’oublier, et puis je fume”. Do you remember? A very relevant song for all the lazy people out there. Its old-fashioned tones will make you feel nostalgic for the ‘30s. Pink Martini will perform in England in October.

Thomas Lauderdale is the founder of the band. His story is not ordinary. He could not help but laugh timidly when talking about his career. He graduated with honours from Harvard University and was planning to enter politics and become the Mayor of Portland, Oregon. He then realised how boring and repetitive political events were. He decided to create Pink Martini with which he would play during these events to raise funds for charities. With his classmate China Forbes, he wrote “Sympathique”, which is still an international success. Pink Martini is now made up of 12 musicians and are performing throughout the world to celebrate their 21st birthday. One of their concerts will take place in the beautiful Royal Albert Hall, on 22 October.

Pink Martini’s songs are successful thanks to their “enthusiasm”, Thomas Lauderdale said. “We are not like any other pop music band. We are going in the opposite direction. Our melodies have a certain appeal to the older generations.” Many people think that Pink Martini’s music was recorded between the two wars. Their jazzy and old-fashioned repertoire sounds like it was made 80 years ago.

The band make their own music and rewrite old classics in English, French, Spanish and even in Turkish, Japanese and Romanian. “We got a “Sympathique” for each country” Thomas Lauderdale claimed, “we try to adapt the songs to the country we are visiting. There is no musical genre I like more than another.”

The band has worked with the French artists Henri Salvador, Georges Moustaki and Philippe Katherine. Several members of the band speak French. “Je parle un petit peu français” Thomas told me, “I learned it in high school for 5 years. Since then, I love listening to Jane Birkin and Barbara!

In Pink Martini’s video clips, you can feel Thomas’s musical passion. Maybe will you be able to see him perform during their show in London. A great evening in perspective!


30/09/2016 - Verottaylor said :

Do go and listen to them>>>they are eclectic, refreshing, always outstanding>Veronique


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