Hong Kong: A Snake and a Moment

Lan Kwai Fong neighborhood of Hong Kong

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

Paris: The New Portland

The historic Folies Bergères, in Paris

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

London: Brought to Tears

Our band leader, Thomas Lauderdale, in London

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

Amsterdam: Totally Smitten

ted-amsterdam5-2

Hard to believe it has been almost twenty years since I was last in Amsterdam, and it’s crazy to think that Pink Martini has never played here until now, considering we have played almost every major city in the world! We have a great fan base (so we learned on this trip), which makes our switch of allegiance from United Airlines to Delta, a perfect choice. They have a direct flight from our hometown, Portland, Oregon, to Amsterdam, a now indispensable first stop on our regular European tours.

My favorite cities in the world are all very different from one another, but they have one specific thing in common; an exhilarating, thriving restaurant and bar scene. Not only can you smell it, but you can feel how in-tune the people are with food and drink. Amsterdam, however, is inching towards the top of my list. Continue reading