Press Release: Get Happy, the new album from acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based Pink Martini, will be released September 24 on Heinz Records. The 16-track album features bandleader Thomas Lauderdale and his “little orchestra,” as well as lead singers China Forbes and Storm Large. Additionally, the album includes guest vocalists Phyllis Diller, Philippe Katerine, Meow Meow, Ari Shapiro, The von Trapps and Rufus Wainwright. As a special preview, an in-the-studio album trailer, featuring the song “Zundoko,” can be viewed here.
In advance of the release, the band will embark on a nationwide U.S. tour this summer, including three dates at L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl. The shows will feature both China Forbes and Storm Large as well as special guest Saori Yuki. See below for complete tour details.
Get Happy is Pink Martini’s seventh studio album and was recorded at Kung Fu Bakery Studios, in Portland, OR over the past year. Lauderdale produced the album along with longtime collaborator Dave Friedlander. Highlights on the album include the opening track, a special first take recording of Phyllis Diller performing Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” as well as a duet by Forbes and Wainwright on “Get Happy/Happy Days.” The album also features songs sung in German, Spanish, Japanese, French, Chinese, Farsi, Turkish and Romanian.
The new album follows a highly successful few years for the band, who were recently profiled on CBS Sunday Morning (the full piece can be viewed here). Additionally, in November 2011, the band released two albums—A Retrospective, a collection of the band’s most beloved songs spanning their 18-year career, which includes eight previously unreleased tracks, and 1969, an album of collaborations with legendary Japanese singer Saori Yuki. 1969 has since been certified platinum in Japan, reaching #2 on the Japanese charts with the Japan Times raving, “the love and respect Saori Yuki and Pink Martini have for the pop tradition shines through on every track.” The release of 1969 also marked the first time a Japanese artist hit the American Billboard charts since Kyu Sakamoto released “Sukiyaki” in 1963.
Pink Martini was founded in Portland, OR in 1994 by Harvard graduate and classically trained pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale to play political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, affordable housing and public broadcasting. China Forbes, a classmate of Lauderdale’s at Harvard, joined the ensemble in 1995. In the years since, Pink Martini’s six studio albums have collectively sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide, all on the band’s own label, Heinz Records.
The ensemble has also gone on to perform its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras worldwide including concerts with the Boston Pops, San Francisco Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Singer Storm Large began performing with Pink Martini in March 2011, when China Forbes took a leave of absence to undergo surgery on her vocal cords. Forbes made full recovery and now both she and Large continue performing and touring with the band.