When most people head out to a political convention, the last thing on their mind is the music. But not so with Pink Martini founder Thomas Lauderdale, who once harbored political dreams of running for mayor of his hometown, Portland. He used to hit up political rallies and was so uninspired by the banality of the event soundtracks that he started his own group to create cross-genre tunes that would appeal to both sides of the aisle. These days, Lauderdale and his band of active-minded musicians are busy lending their talents to instruments of melody, but their motives are still civic-oriented. Their hit “Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler” (or “I Don’t Want to Work”) has been a classic rallying cry for French protesters since its release. And with a rotation of ten to 12 members, Pink Martini is a “mini-orchestra,” combining influences and languages from all over the world, with an aim to make beautiful music that is inspiring and uplifting for everyone.
Sat., Jan. 19, 8 p.m., 2013