Shaken, Not Stirred

Formed by Harvard alums Thomas Lauderdale on piano and China Forbes on vocals, Pink Martini mixes up music with a distinct, pedigreed sophistication. And yet the group's cheeky wit and smooth orchestral swing amounts to a kind of comfort food for the ear, eye and soul. Over the course of fifteen years and three albums — the latest being 2007's lounge-friendly Hey Eugene! — Pink Martini has shared the stage with everyone from Al Green to Sergio Mendes, lending a slinky, peripherally retro air to its polyglot pop. It's a sound, the band insists, that spans the ages.

"There are very few inter-generational activities in our country," notes bandleader Lauderdale. "People don't sit around the piano and sing anymore. When I was a child growing up in Indiana, I loved going to sleep in the same room as my brothers and sister, listening to my parents entertaining their friends downstairs. That sound of raucous laughter would drift up. It was very comforting and calming. It made me feel very safe and good. In some ways, I think the band is sort of an extension of that."

Lauderdale and Forbes are bringing their miniature symphony to Macky Auditorium, on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus, tonight at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the all-ages show is $12 to $52; for tickets and info, call 303-492-8008 or visit www.cupresents.org.
Tue., Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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