Portland's very own international superstar pop-orchestra Pink Martini is ringing in the New Year at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with old hits and new songs from their most recent album - 2016's "Je Dis Oui!" - in collaboration with the Oregon Symphony and conductor Norman Huynh.
Pink Martini w/ Oregon Symphony
Dec. 30-31, 2017
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
The Dec. 30-31 performances will feature vocalists China Forbes and Storm Large, with special appearances by NPR's Ari Shapiro, The von Trapps, and Cantor Ida Rae Cahana.
Pink Martini has done these speical New Year's Eve concerts with the Oregon Symphony in the past. In 2015, they capped off their year-end show at the Schnitzer with a balloon drop while the band played an up-tempo rendition of "Auld Lang Syne." This year, the concert will include the full-throated final movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony - the Ode to Joy.
Pink Martini was founded in 1994 by pianist and bandleader Thomas Lauderdale, whose original vision for the band was to play political events and fundraisers in Portland "for causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, cleaning up the Willamette River, funding for libraries, public broadcasting, education and parks." By the following year, however, Lauderdale had teamed up with vocalist and songwriter China Forbes, which set the group on its path to international renown.
Lauderdale's "little orchestra" features over a dozen musicians and two dedicated vocalists - Forbes and Large - performing a wide variety of musical styles and genres in over 25 languages. They have played shows to sold-out arenas and intimate clubs all over the world in their 23-year career. They even released an album in collaboration with Japanese pop legend Saori Yuki that went to the #2 spot on the Japanese charts in 2011.