OPB is partnering with Pink Martini, Portland’s globetrotting, self-described “little orchestra,” to broadcast one of the band’s first-ever streaming shows – a New Year’s Eve concert titled “Good Riddance 2020.”
The hour-long concert will air December 31 at 9:30 p.m. on OPB TV, and is presented by Classic Pianos, Stoller Family Estate and Metropolitan Youth Symphony.
Filmed at the band’s World Headquarters in downtown Portland in front of a 35-foot Christmas tree, the concert features holiday classics new and old, alongside fan-favorite Pink Martini songs. Bandleader Thomas Lauderdale will anchor the concerts from the piano, with lead singer China Forbes at the microphone. Additional special guests appearing in the concert include co-lead singer Storm Large, NPR’s Ari Shapiro, regular guest vocalists Edna Vazquez and Jimmie Herrod, and Sofia von Trapp, and Cantor Ida Rae Cahana.
“We are thrilled to bring this special Pink Martini concert experience to everyone in our region,” said Steve Bass, president and CEO of OPB. “As we say goodbye to 2020, the band’s festive lineup and talented performers offer a bright spot in what has been a challenging year.”
Long associated with the holidays, Pink Martini has toured every December for well over a decade in support of their fifth album, “Joy to the World,” a non-denominational holiday classic which features music from around the globe. The band also performs two sold-out concerts every New Year’s Eve, alternating between Arlene Schnitzer Hall in downtown Portland, and Disney Hall in downtown Los Angeles. The band’s NPR-produced special “Joy to the World: A Holiday Spectacular,” hosted by “All Things Considered” host (and frequent Pink Martini collaborator) Ari Shapiro, has been featured on OPB Radio and other public radio stations around the US since its debut in 2015.
With the band on long-term hiatus due to the global pandemic, it was important to bandleader Thomas Lauderdale to find a new way to bring some holiday joy to the band’s global fanbase. “I love the holidays and all of the music that goes with the season,” says Lauderdale. “Our goal has always been to make inclusive holiday music that can be played anywhere in the world. And this year we’re bringing that spirit right into your living rooms.”
Throughout their history, on record and live in concert, Pink Martini has featured a dozen musicians with songs in 25 languages, and they perform their multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout the world. Pink Martini’s albums have collectively sold over three million copies worldwide, all on the band’s own label, Heinz Records.