The eclectic jazz/pop who knows what to call them group Pink Martini played the Hollywood Bowl this weekend and mesmerized the audience with music from around the world. They sang in French, German, Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and Farsi, plus a couple of songs in English.
The Portland, OR based group was backed by the LA Philharmonic but the famous orchestra was overpowered by the group which features a trumpet, trombone, guitar, piano, cello, violin, various percussion, and base. In addition to China Forbes, its dynamic lead singer, the group has added Storm Lange, a red hot songstress who fits this band perfectly.
Highlights? Well how about 95 year old clarinetist, Norman Leyden, who made you feel like you were in a club on Bourbon Street or Saori Yuki, “the Japanese Barbara Streisand,” who brought tears to your eyes as she sang “Puff the Magic Dragon” in Japanese.
Pink Martini also brought NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro to the stage. His voice is surprisingly strong and his stick clever.
It is impossible to describe the Pink Martini. All I can say is go see them. There is no way you will be disappointed. Here is there show schedule. Run, don’t walk, to get tickets. They will sell out.
Quote their leader Thomas Lauderdale:
“We’re very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad and therefore have the incredible diplomatic opportunity to represent a broader, more inclusive America… the America which remains the most heterogeneously populated country in the world… composed of people of every country, every language, every religion.”
Yeah, I know the picture is crummy — Best I could do with my cell phone. The TSA trained security staff at the bowl wouldn’t let me bring in my Nikon.