The sold-out crowd, part of the grand finale of the 43rd Hong Kong Cultural Festival, clapped impatiently as they awaited our grand entrance. Just before going on stage, she leans over to me, and whispers, “Do you ever have to remind yourself that this is your job?” I think China (Forbes) was having a “moment,” one of those gaps in time I often have when I’m on tour with Pink Martini, an intense combination of gratitude and disbelief that envelopes me like a warm blanket. A rare three-month hiatus from performing will do that to even the hardest of hearts, apparently. Continue reading
As we pulled out of the airport, I racked my brain trying to envision the downtown area of Raleigh, where we were headed, and would stay for three nights to perform our Holiday show with the North Carolina Symphony. We have performed in this city, and in many small cities in the U.S. like it, several times, but I can rarely remember the names of the best places I’ve been to here, or exactly where they are. Thus, one of my main motivations for starting this blog; to have a place to refer to in these kinds of situations. Continue reading
Had I looked ahead at our schedule, I would have noticed that our first stop on this tour was Napa Valley, and I could have planned ahead by arriving a few days before the band, hiring a driver, making winery appointments, and dinner reservations. But, I didn’t. And, to make it even more tortuous for me, our hotel was within minutes of scores of wineries! This was one of those times when my two worlds collide, but I couldn’t take full advantage of it–which is not to say I didn’t eat and drink well in our two short days here.
Though Pink Martini was formed in 1994 in our hometown of Portland, Oregon, I believe the first place the band truly enjoyed success was in France, around 1997, after we released a single in French that speaks about not wanting to work, only wanting to forget everything, and smoking. (In Europe, the song is titled, “Je ne veux pas travailler,” which means, “I don’t want to work,” but elsewhere, its title is “Sympatique.”) This song was released about the same time France had officially shortened the work week from 40 hours to 35, so the song was a huge hit!! Of course, the smokers of France, of which there are many, took a liking to the song, too! Continue reading
I often get asked if I get tired of traveling so much; all that moving around must get old, right? It’s not for everyone, true, but there are so many things I love about touring! Believe it or not, I even cherish the in-flight meals, that’s how much I love it! But, there is one facet of being on tour that I would love to do without. Continue reading
When I’m on tour, I almost always seek out food and drink specialties of the region, leaning on locals for advice. My Dutch friend Annemieke poured cold water on my wishes in Amsterdam when she said in her cute little Dutch accent, “Most of our specialties you don’t want to eat in a restaurant…they’re things you only want my mother to cook for you: mashed potatoes, roasted meats, foods to warm you up.” Since the invitation to Mum’s house never came, I did a little research online, and found a gem of a restaurant that opened just last week. Continue reading