Los Angeles Music Preview: NEW YEAR’S EVE WITH PINK MARTINI (Disney Hall)

by Tony Frankel on December 22, 2014

in Theater-Los Angeles

Post image for Los Angeles Music Preview: NEW YEAR’S EVE WITH PINK MARTINI (Disney Hall)


Last year, Pink Martini—having brilliantly executed an extended song list covering at least a dozen styles of music sung in eight different languages—turned the Hollywood Bowl into a festive party which involved the audience dancing in one giant conga line. With a clever, daring, delightful, masterful, and sophisticated concoction of lounge, jazz, swing, samba, classical, and world music, this 12-piece “little orchestra” defied labels and winkingly dared us to stay seated.

Pink Martini and the Von Trapps - POSTER

Now, what that means for a New Year’s celebration at Disney Hall next week is anybody’s guess, but—along with guaranteeing you the best fete in town—this may be that rare opportunity to see patrons dancing in the aisles of the classy hall. You have two chances to catch the Pink Party: Those who want to watch the ball drop from home can catch the 7 pm show, but the hard-core ball-droppers will want to swill champagne and cha-cha from 10:30 pm into 2015.


Into this swinging, Technicolor fantasy, Pink Martini will be joined on stage by The von Trapps—the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp from The Sound of Music fame—who have already proved they can weave impossibly sweet, four-sibling harmonies with the impeccable band on this year’s collaborative studio album, Dream a Little Dream.

Pink Martini and the Von Trapps20 years and 10 discs ago, bandleader Timothy Lauderdale, whose ivory tickling is superb, founded Pink Martini in Portland, Oregon, to provide more beautiful and inclusive musical soundtracks for political fundraisers. A year later, he called China Forbes, a Harvard classmate who was living in New York City, and asked her to join. They began to write songs together. Since then, Pink Martini’s music has crossed the genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop, drawing inspiration from the romantic Hollywood musicals of the 1940s and ’50s while injecting a more global perspective. The band’s musicians have studied different languages and styles of music from all over the world in developing their wildly diverse repertoire. “Pink Martini is a rollicking around-the-world musical adventure,” said Lauderdale. “If the United Nations had a house band in 1962, hopefully we’d be that band.”

Pink Martini's Timothy Lauderdale and China Forbes. Photo by Sherri Diteman

Singer Storm Large began performing with Pink Martini in March 2011, when China Forbes took a leave of absence to undergo surgery on her vocal chords. Forbes—equal parts spunk, class, and sass—clearly made a full recovery, commanding the stage at the Bowl with her suave presence and soaring voice. Not only will Forbes be joining the party on New Year’s Eve, but so will NPR journalist (and knockout singer) Ari Shapiro with instrumentalists Anoushirvan Rohani (piano), Hossein Salehi (santoor), and Bobak Salehi (tar & fiddle).

So get your Pink on. This is one powerful drink, guaranteed to leave you hungover with joy.

martiniphotos courtesy of Pink Martini

New Year’s Eve with Pink Martini
presented by Los Angeles Philharmonic
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Wed, December 31, 2014 at 7 & 10:30
for tickets, call 323.850.2000
or visit www.LAPhil.com

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