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Biography

China Forbes, vocalist
 
China Forbes, born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduated cum laude from Harvard and was awarded the Jonathan Levy Award for acting.
 
Appearances in New York regional theatre and off-off Broadway productions earned China her Equity card. She put her first band together in 1994 and played regularly at CBGB’s Gallery, Mercury Lounge and Brownies. Her first solo album, Love Handle, was released in 1995, and she was chosen to sing "Ordinary Girl," the theme song to the TV show Clueless. 

That’s when she was plucked from New York by Harvard classmate Thomas Lauderdale to sing with Pink Martini. The two have since written many of Pink Martini’s most beloved songs, including “Sympathique,” “Lilly,” “Clementine,” “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love,” "Over the Valley" and, most recently, "A Snowglobe Christmas," which can be heard on Pink Martini's holiday album Joy to the World. Her original song “Hey Eugene” is the title track of Pink Martini’s third album, and many of her songs can also be heard on television and film. She sang “Que Sera Sera” over the opening and closing credits of Jane Campion’s film, In the Cut, and her “The Northern Line" appears at the end of sister Maya Forbes' directorial debut of Infinitely Polar Bear (Sony Pictures). 

With Pink Martini, China has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Later…  with Jools Holland. She has performed songs in more than 12 languages and has sung duets with Michael Feinstein, Jimmy Scott, Georges Moustaki, Henri Salvador, Saori Yuki, Faith Prince, Carol Channing and Rufus Wainwright in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl to the Grand Rex in Paris. Her second solo album,’78, (Heinz Records) is a collection of autobiographical folk-rock songs. 

Several years ago, China took a leave of absence from Pink Martini to undergo surgery on her vocal chords and to spend time with her son. Thankfully all went very well and she is thrilled to be back on stage every chance she gets.  
 
 
Thomas Lauderdale, vocalist 
 
Thomas Lauderdale was raised in rural Indiana and began piano lessons at age 6. When his family moved to Portland in 1982, he began studying with Sylvia Killman, who remains his coach and mentor today. At age 14, he made his first appearance with the Oregon Symphony under the direction of Norman Leyden. 
 
Active in Oregon politics since he was student body president at Grant High School, Thomas served under Portland Mayor Bud Clark and Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt. In 1991, he worked under Portland City Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury on the drafting and passage of the city’s civil rights ordinance. He graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in history and literature in 1992. He spent most of his collegiate years, however, in cocktail dresses, taking on the role of “cruise director,” throwing waltzes with live orchestras and ice sculptures, disco masquerades and operating a Tuesday night coffeehouse called Café Mardi. 
 
Instead of running for political office, Thomas founded Pink Martini in 1994 to play political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, the environment and affordable housing. 
 
Now in its 23rd year, Pink Martini and Thomas Lauderdale are Oregon’s “musical ambassadors to the world,” performing a multilingual repertoire on concert stages from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl to The Royal Albert Hall, and with more than 50 symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Americas. The band has released nine albums on its own label, Heinz Records, most recently "Dream a Little Dream," a collaboration with The von Trapps. 
 
Thomas currently serves on the boards of the Oregon Symphony and Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon.
This biography was most recently edited by...
houstonsymphony - 9 Mar 2017
houstonsymphony - 9 Mar 2017
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