Saturday, February 09, 2008


Pink Martini debuts at Massey Hall

Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 8 PM / Massey Hall / Toronto

Tickets $49.50 - $29.50 - 416-872-4255 or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Toronto, ON. February 6, 2008

The fabulous Pink Martini, “beautiful and sophisticated,” as declared by The New Yorker, makes its Massey Hall debut on Saturday, March 15, at 8 PM.

“Pink Martini is like a romantic Hollywood musical of the 1940s or ‘50s – but with a global perspective which is modern”, says founder and artistic director Thomas M. Lauderdale. “We bring melodies and rhythms from different parts of the world together to create something which is new and beautiful.”

The Toronto date is part of the band’s three month, 29-city, tour of North America, which opens at the Kennedy Center on Feb. 28. The only other Canadian stop is at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

The Portland, Oregon-based “little orchestra” was founded in 1994 by Lauderdale, a Harvard graduate and classically trained pianist, to perform at political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, the environment, affordable housing and public broadcasting. In the years following, Pink Martini grew from four musicians to its current twelve, and has gone on to perform its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Canada and the United States.

In the US, the band has performed with such symphony orchestras as the Boston Pops, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and special engagements have included the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall; the opening party of the New York Museum of Modern Art; and the 100th birthday celebration for the William Morris Agency with soul legend Al Green.

“All band members have studied different languages and music from different parts of the world, so because everyone in the band contributes in the writing and arranging of songs, the 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 are suddenly in a French music hall of the 1930s or in a palazzo in Napoli. It’s like an urban musical travelogue,” says Lauderdale.

Pink Martini’s debut album, Sympathique, was released in 1997 on the band’s own label Heinz Records (named after Lauderdale’s dog) and quickly became an international phenomenon, garnering the group nominations for “Song of the Year” and “Best New Artist” in France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards. Seven long years later, the high-anticipated follow-up, Hang on Little Tomato, was released and climbed to #1 on’s best sellers list.

Hey Eugene!, the band’s latest CD, released in May 2007, is a twelve-track sonic journey that travels the globe with uplifting songs of hope and beauty. The title track “Hey Eugene,” an audience favourite for years, is delivered with sultry grace by lead singer China Forbes, who wrote the song. (It’s about a boy she met at a party who asked for her number and then never called). The album shines throughout -- from the golden-era Hollywood melody of “Everywhere” to the French cabaret of “Ojala.” Other collaborations anchor the set as well: Forbes’ sister Maya co-authored the pan-world “Dosvedanya Mio Bombino” with its globetrotting Latin-meets-Russian beat supplied by the March Fourth Marching Band plus the Forbes-Lauderdale penned sexy sway of "City of Night." Bassist Phil Baker adds the quiet beauty of “Cante e Dance,” and Peruvian percussionist Martin Zarzar debuts the romantically complex “Mar Desconocido.” “It’s like a song from a Pedro Almodovar film,” says Lauderdale, “with an excerpt of a Chopin waltz in the middle of it.” The band also mines the past for hidden gems, including the Japanese-language track “Taya Tan,” a hypnotically precise reworking (with a hint of early ‘70s Japanese film noir) of the Japanese Saori Yuki hit. The band is joined by The Jefferson High School Gospel Choir on “Tempo Perdido,” the 1934 Carmen Miranda song. “We like to perform and record songs of the past when we feel we have something new to say about them,” says Lauderdale, “and ‘Tempo Perdido’ is a forgotten treasure.”

Please visit for more info.

Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 8 PM / Massey Hall / Toronto
178 Victoria Street, Toronto
Tickets $49.50 - $29.50 - Call 416-872-4255 or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office


Liz Parker, Publicity Manager / Ph: 416 593 4822, Ext. 318 / email:
60 Simcoe Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 2H5


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