Little orchestra, big museum: Pink Martini performing at CMA on July 16



Thomas Lauderdale knows how to throw a good party.

According to the Pink Martini pianist, the most important element is inviting a diverse crowd. “If you open up a party so it becomes much more broad, it becomes more interesting,” he said.

The other two most important elements? Cocktails, of course; and music.

Pink Martini’s performances tend to follow those same rules, too. With sold-out shows and successful tours all over the world, the self-proclaimed “little orchestra” makes 95 percent of its revenue from performances. But what really makes the band unique is its emphasis on diversity and culture.

Though the group began in Portland, Oregon, their first hit, “Sympathique,” was a sensation first in France. Later, the U.S. caught on to Pink Martini’s risk-taking, old-fashioned style.

The group’s jazz and pop features songs with lyrics in over 10 languages, and musical influences from every corner of the world.

“Our music is also about diplomacy,” said Lauderdale. “[Pink Martini’s music] is a more accurate description of America.”

Pink Martini will be performing at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium on July 16, presented by the Grog Shop.