Thomas Lauderdale is an exceedingly bright and articulate guy, which is why the “About” section of Pink Martini’s website is packed with his terrific, spot-on descriptions of the 12-member “little orchestra” he formed in Portland in 1994.
The band is a group of “musical archaeologists” whose shows are like an “urban musical travelogue,” he says. “At one moment, you feel like you’re in the middle of a samba parade in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next moment, you’re in a French music hall of the 1930s or a palazzo in Napoli.”
But, he says, “the overarching goal is to create a cohesive body of beautiful songs with beautiful melodies.”
Mission accomplished. If there’s one quality that ties Pink Martini’s sophisticated, cosmopolitan catalog together, it’s elegant beauty, voiced most often by velvety vocalist China Forbes to an eclectic soundtrack of vintage pop, jazz and classical music.
Alas, Forbes will not travel to Bend with the band, as she has taken an extended leave of absence to undergo surgery on her vocal cords. But the show goes on with Lucy Woodward, a London-born, New York-raised vocalist who has toured the world and performed on “The Tonight Show.” Reviews of Woodward from Pink Martini’s shows in Salt Lake City, Michigan and Canada have been glowing.