Pink Martini Sympathique

The 'little orchestra' Pink Martini was originally founded to - of all things!! - provide beautiful music for political fundraisers for causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, the environment, libraries, public broadcasting, education and parks. Their first song, Sympathique was nominated for “Song of the Year” at France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards, and to this day remains a mantra (“Je ne veux pas travailler” or “I don’t want to work”) for striking French workers.

Usually featuring 10 to 12 musicians and lead by bandleader Thomas Lauderdale and singer China Forbes, Pink Martini performs multi-lingual and multi-cultural music worldwide. They spend much of their time around the world, and are better known in Europe than they are in their native USA (they home just South of the Genesis factory - in Portland, Oregon).

Their first album (pictured here) was released independently in 1997 without a major music label behind them. It quickly gained international traction (including in Singapore). The album had an international flavor and frankly, when I heard it I had no idea that they were an American band. It garnered nominations for “Song of the Year” and “Best New Artist” in France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards. They followed-up with three other albums - Hang on Little Tomato, Hey Eugene, and Splendor in the Grass.

In 2010, they released Joy to the World! - a festive, multi-denominational holiday album featuring songs from around the globe which was carried in Starbucks stores throughout the US during the 2010 and 2011 holiday seasons. This brought them wider notice, but I still don't hear them played often at shows. IMHO, all their albums are exceptionally well-crafted. Please buy them directly from the band at

Mono & Stereo friend Gary Koh of Genesis Advanced Technologies, Inc.