Charleston Gaillard Center Presents

Pink Martini featuring China Forbes

Oct 23, 2023 at 7:30 pm
Tickets Start at $29 (Plus Applicable Fees)

About the Show

Featuring a dozen musicians, with songs in 25 languages, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages on six continents. After making it’s European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998, the band has gone on to play with more than 50 orchestras around the world, including multiple engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the San Francisco Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London. In 2014, Pink Martini was inducted into both the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

Pink Martini has released 11 studio albums on its own independent label Heinz Records (named after Lauderdale’s dog), selling over 3 million albums worldwide. In 2019, the band released two EPs featuring the vocals of Pink Martini’s newest members Jimmie Herrod and Edna Vazquez. Both vocalist have toured with the band for the past year and are officially part of the group with the release of Herrod’s EP Tomorrow and Vaquez’s Besame Mucho, both of which were co-produced by Thomas Lauderdale and China Forbes.

“Pink Martini is a rollicking around-the-world musical adventure… if the United Nations had a house band in 1962, hopefully we’d be that band.”

– Thomas Lauderdale, bandleader/pianist

About Pink Martini

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 – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop – and hoping to appeal to conservatives and liberals alike, he founded the “little orchestra” Pink Martini in 1994 to 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.

One year later, Lauderdale called China Forbes, a Harvard classmate who was living in New York City, and asked her to join Pink Martini. They began to write songs together. Their first song “Sympathique (Je ne veux pas travailler)” became an overnight sensation in France, was nominated for “Song of the Year” at France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards, and to this day remains a mantra (“Je ne veux pas travailler” or “I don’t want to work”) for striking French workers.  Says 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.”

About China Fobes

China Forbes was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts and graduated cum laude from Harvard, majoring in Visual Arts and English Literature with a minor in Theater. After winning the Jonathan Levy Prize at Harvard for “most promising actor,” Forbes earned her Equity card appearing in New York regional theater and off-Broadway productions while also performing regularly as a singer/songwriter in NYC clubs. Her first album Love Handle (November Records) was released in 1995 and she was chosen to sing “Ordinary Girl,” the theme song to the TV show Clueless (ABC/UPN). 

Also in 1995, Harvard friend and classmate Thomas Lauderdale invited her to sing with Portland, Oregon band Pink Martini, and she has fronted the little orchestra ever since. Co-writing many of Pink Martini’s most beloved songs with Lauderdale beginning with “Sympathique (Je ne veux pas travailler),” the duo also composed “Lilly,” “Hang on Little Tomato,” “Una Notte a Napoli,” and “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love,” among many others. In 2000, “Sympathique” was nominated for song of the year at (the French Grammy awards) Les Victoires de la Musique. 

Forbes’s original song “Hey Eugene” is the title track of Pink Martini’s third album and also appears on her second solo album 78 (Heinz Records), a collection of autobiographical folk-rock songs. Her voice and songs have been featured prominently on acclaimed film and television soundtracks such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Weekend Away, Hitch, Emily in Paris, Parks and Rec, Money Heist, Sherlock and season two of The White Lotus. She sings “Que Sera, Sera” over the credits of Jane Campion’s film In the Cut, and her original song “The Northern Line” plays over the end credits of sister Maya Forbes’ directorial debut Infinitely Polar Bear (Sony Pictures Classics).

With Pink Martini, Forbes has appeared on The Late Show with David LettermanLate Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Later with Jools Holland. She has duetted with legendary artists including Rufus Wainwright, Michael Feinstein, Carol Channing and Little Jimmy Scott. Singing in over 20 languages on nine Pink Martini studio albums, China and Pink Martini have graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Red Rocks, the Hollywood Bowl, Paris’s l’Olympia, the Sydney Opera House and Royal Albert Hall. 

Last year, China Forbes released her post-pandemic anthem “Full Circle” followed by her suicide prevention anthem “Rise,” both singles from her third solo album, slated for release in September 2023. She is the recipient of the 2022 Ella Fitzgerald Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival; previous winners include Diana Ross, Etta James, Liza Minelli, Diana Krall and Aretha Franklin.

Student & Teacher Tickets

The Charleston Gaillard Center’s Education & Community Program is pleased to announce student and teacher tickets are available for this performance. Limited availability. Limited to two tickets per person with valid student/teacher ID.

In Advance: Tickets are $25 (plus applicable fees). Green seats on seating map.

Day of Rush: Tickets are $25 (plus applicable fees). Available two hours prior to show time, best available.

Click here to sign up for education emails, including those regarding our student and teacher ticket program.

Please note that for this performance online purchases have a limit of eight (8) tickets per customer. To purchase additional tickets or to inquire about group sales, please contact the ticket office directly at (843) 242-3099.