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  • Pink Martini Rings in the New Year With Two Performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Dec. 31, 2008
  • Veteran Jazz Vocalist Jimmy Scott Joins Pink Martini as Special Guest

    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2008 AT 7 PM and 10:30 PM

    Media Sponsor: 89.9 KCRW

    Ring in the new year at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Pink Martini and their spirited blend of Brazilian samba, ‘30s Cuban dance, Parisian café sensibility and world-music flair. Special guest and veteran jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott joins Pink Martini for two performances on Wednesday, December 31, at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. These performances are part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Deck the Hall series of holiday concerts that presents a wide variety of performances throughout the month of December.

    The Washington Post says of Pink Martini, “This is rich, hugely approachable music, utterly cosmopolitan yet utterly unpretentious. And it seems to speak to just about everybody…from grade-schoolers to grandmothers to the young and hip and beautiful.” Pink Martini founder and pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale describes the ensemble as “musical archaeologists, bringing melodies and rhythms from different parts of the world together to create something which is modern. One of our goals is to make music which has broad appeal to people, no matter who they are or where they come from.”

    Dubbed “vintage-chic” by The New York Times, Pink Martini’s sound is a throwback to the golden-era of yesteryear with a 21st century makeover. Pink Martini’s performances feature lead singer China Forbes, who sings with charming authenticity in 14 different languages, including French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic and English.

    Jazz legend Jimmy Scott, who makes a vocal guest appearance on Pink Martini’s third album Hey Eugene!, joins the group not only as a special guest, but also as a legend and inspiration, particularly for Lauderdale, who says, “He’s my favorite singer of all time.”

    Part language lesson, part Hollywood spectacle, PINK MARTINI, the Portland, Oregon-based ‘little orchestra’ was founded in 1994 by Thomas M. Lauderdale, a Harvard graduate and classically trained pianist, to play 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, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Lauderdale met China Forbes, Pink Martini’s “Diva Next Door” lead vocalist, when the pair was at Harvard. Late into the night in their college dormitory, Forbes would sing Verdi and Puccini arias while Lauderdale accompanied her on piano, and their creative collaboration blossomed. Three years later, Lauderdale called Forbes, who was living in New York City, where she’d been writing songs and playing guitar in her own folk-rock project, and asked her to join Pink Martini. They began to write music and lyrics together for the band, and their first song “Sympathique,” or “Je ne veux pas travailler” (I don’t want to work) became a huge hit in France. The ensemble made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998 under the direction of Norman Leyden. Pink Martini has since performed with symphony orchestras across the country including four night nights with the Boston Pops in 2005, multiple concerts with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in 2000 and three nights headlining in 2007, two nights with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on a co-bill with Sergio Mendes in 2002 and two nights headlining with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2005. Other prestigious appearances include the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, with return sold-out engagements for New Year’s Eve 2003 and 2004; the opening party of the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and the William Morris Agency’s 100th birthday celebration with soul legend, Al Green. Pink Martini’s debut album, Sympathique, was released independently in 1997 on the band’s own label Heinz Records 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, wasreleased and climbed to #1 on’s best sellers list. The band’s widely acclaimed third release, Hey Eugene!, debuted at #30 on the Billboard Top 200.

    The life of JIMMY SCOTT is not one of meteoric stardom but a journey that has taken nearly 70 years to find its much deserved success. He was only 12 years old when he became known as a singer around Cleveland . While Scott was in his teens, comedian Tim McCoy took Jimmy along with him for his gigs. Jimmy would sing at different clubs, and then sneak out before the cops arrived, since he was under age. Jimmy eventually produced the Summer Festivals, a group of talented youngsters, like his friend jazz baritone singer Jimmy Reed and dancer Barbara Taylor, that would put on shows all around the area. Jimmy was hired by the dance troupe “The Two Flashes,” and took the job to be close to show business, its players, and the stage. They were working with some of the greatest jazz musicians of the day such as Lester Young, Slam Stewart, Ben Webster, Papa Jo Jones, Sir Charles, and many more. The music was jumpin' and so was Jimmy. When the band let him do a couple of numbers, Jimmy won over the crowd singing “The Talk of the Town” and “Don't Take Your Love Away.” Jimmy eventually joined Lionel Hampton's Band in 1948, where he discovered the vibraphone and the strings. Lionel was a mentor to Jimmy and the one who tagged him with the stage name “Little Jimmy Scott.” Jimmy met Estelle “Caldonia” in the early 1940's. She took Jimmy on her road show as the featured singer. “Caldonia's Revue” traveled the southern circuit to the east, they put up their own stages in the rural areas. Some of the others who worked with Caldonia were Ruth Brown, Big Maybelle, Elie Adams, and Jack McDuff. Caldonia took Jimmy along with her to do a special performance at Gamby's in Baltimore in 1945, where he met up with his friend Redd Foxx, who convinced Jimmy to move to New York. Jimmy got a weekend gig at the Baby Grand in Harlem, which led to a 3 month residency. During this time, Jimmy met Doc Pomus. Their friendship lasted 45 years and Jimmy sang at his funeral in 1991. After a long climb, Jimmy has established a dedicated international audience through triumphant tours of Europe and Japan. He's been the featured subject of a Bravo Profiles television special, and of an in-depth biography by award-winning author David Ritz (Faith in Time: The Jazz Life of Jimmy Scott).


    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2008 AT 7 PM & 10:30 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    JIMMY SCOTT, guest vocals

    CHINA FORBES, vocals


    GAVIN BONDY, trumpet

    ROBERT TAYLOR, trombone

    JULIE COLEMAN, violin

    NICHOLAS CROSA, violin

    GREG EWER, violin

    JOY FABOS, violin

    ERIN FURBEE, violin

    JOEL BELGIQUE, viola

    CHARLES NOBLE, viola


    PANSY CHANG, cello

    PHIL BAKER, upright bass

    DAN FAEHNLE, guitar

    MAUREEN LOVE, harp

    TIMOTHY NISHIMOTO, vocals & percussion

    BRIAN DAVIS, congas & percussion

    DEREK RIETH, bongos, congas & percussion

    MARTIN ZARZAR, drums & percussion

    Tickets ($65- $195) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card by phone at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Lisa Bellamore,, 213.972.3689; For photos: 213.972.3034