Thomas Lauderdale (piano) was raised on a plant nursery in rural Indiana. He began piano lessons at age six with Patricia Garrison. When his family moved to Portland in 1982, he began studying with Sylvia Killman, who continues to this day as his coach and mentor. He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Oregon Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Portland Youth Philharmonic, Chamber Music Northwest and Oregon Ballet Theatre (where he collaborated with choreographer James Canfield and visual artists Storm Tharp and Malia Jensen on a ballet based on Felix Salten’s Bambi, written in 1923).
Active in Oregon politics since a student at U.S. Grant High School (where he was student body president), Thomas served under Portland Mayor Bud Clark and Oregon governor Neil Goldschmidt. He also 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 with gigantic pineapples on wheels, midnight swimming parties, and operating a Tuesday night coffeehouse called Café Mardi.
Instead of running for political office, Lauderdale founded the ‘little orchestra” called Pink Martini in 1994 to play political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, the environment, affordable housing and public broadcasting. In addition to his work with Pink Martini, Lauderdale collaborates with international superstar and singing sensation Meow Meow, the surf band Satan’s Pilgrims and novelist/writer Tom Spanbauer. In Spring 2008, Lauderdale completed his first film score for Chiara Clemente’s documentary Our City Dreams, a portrait of five New York City-based women artists of different generations. In 2008, he performed as the featured piano soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia with the Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland under the direction of Roger Doyle, and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F with the Oregon Symphony under the direction of Christoph Campestrini.
Lauderdale currently serves on the boards of the Oregon Symphony and Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon. He lives in Portland with his boyfriend artist/designer Philip Iosca.
Since 1995, China Forbes (vocals) has toured the world as lead singer of the celebrated ‘little orchestra,’ Pink Martini. The group has performed their multi-lingual repertoire in Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. She has commanded the stages of The Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Le Grand Rex of Paris and London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Forbes has been praised as “an unpretentious pitch-perfect chanteuse” (New York Times) with her “fine, velvety voice” (Washington Post).
Invited to join the band by Harvard classmate, Thomas M. Lauderdale, Forbes set aside a budding career as a singer songwriter to front the band full time. She has co-written many of Pink Martini’s most beloved songs with Lauderdale including “Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler,” “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love,” “The Gardens of Sampson and Beasley,” “Clementine,” “Una Notte a Napoli,” “Aspettami,” “City of Night” and “Lilly.” She wrote the song “Dosvedanya Mio Bombino” with her sister, television and screenwriter Maya Forbes and her song “Hey Eugene” is the title track of Pink Martini’s third album.
Forbes has also written songs with acclaimed songwriters Billy Steinberg, Charlotte Caffey, and Rick Nowells. Her original songs have appeared on The West Wing, Felicity, The Sopranos, The L Word, and in the films Mr. And Mrs. Smith, Sorority Boys, The Photographer, The Chateau and Seeing Other People. She has sung duets with Michael Feinstein, Jimmy Scott, Georges Moustaki, Henri Salvador and Carol Channing and can be heard singing the song Que Sera Sera in the film Nurse Betty as well as over the credits of Jane Campion’s film In the Cut. In 2008 she released her long-awaited solo record, ’78.
China Forbes was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts and lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.
Robert Taylor (trombone) grew up in Taylorville, Illinois, studied with almost every brass player of the Chicago Symphony and earned his degree in music from Northwestern University. He toured Europe with the American-Soviet Youth Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and played with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival under Mstislav Rostropovich. Robert served as principal trombonist for the San Antonio Symphony for five years and is currently with the Oregon Symphony.
Gavin Bondy (trumpet) is native to Portland, Oregon. His versatility and love of music has allowed him to work with bands and orchestras in a great variety of genres including classical, rock, country, funk, American folk, big band, salsa, free jazz, mariachi, and middle-eastern music. In between Pink Martini shows, he writes, arranges, and performs for a group he founded, the Shanghai Woolies, a band of renegade rock musicians who play rippin’ hot jazz.
Brian Lavern Davis (congas, drums and percussion) was raised in Portland, Oregon, and his musical studies have taken him to India, Japan, New York, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Brazil. His teachers include Jorge Alabe, Jose Ricardo Santos & Ballet Folklorico do Bahia, Colin Walcott, Michael Spiro, Keith Terry, Los Muñequitos de Mantanzas, Bruno Moraes, Alex Rangel, (both from Mocidade Indepente de Padre Miguel), Jorge Martins (Maracatu Estrella Brilhante de Recife), and Nana Vasconcelos. He has served on the faculties of Portland State University, Jefferson Performing Arts High School, and The Vancouver School of Arts & Academics. Brian is the founder (with Derek Rieth ) and Director of the Lions of Batucada, an ever growing forty-some member Brazilian dance and percussion ensemble, and formed and directs the “Ainsworth Jr. Escola,” a 117-member Portland youth samba bateria. He has toured and/or recorded with Herbie Hancock, Kalapana, Upepo, Obo Addy, Dub Squad, Dan Reed Network and the show “BataKetu” among many others. He teaches body percussion and samba throughout the Northwest as part of the Young Audiences of Oregon and Washington program, teaches each Summer at the California Brazil Camp (2005 – present), and conducts samba workshops for a variety of baterias, schools, and music stores across the U.S. Brian proudly uses LP (Latin Percussion) instruments.
Derek Rieth (percussion) began his musical career focusing on Afro-Cuban and Brazilian folkloric and popular drumming styles. His studies have taken him to Cuba, Brazil, New Orleans and New York. Among his teachers are Jorge Alabe, Boca “Rum” Bezerra, Regino Jiménez, Jesús Alfonso, Pello Gonzalez, Miguelito Bernal, Jorge Martins, Nininho da Badia, Mark Lamson and Michael Spiro (co-creators of Bata Ketu), Scotty Wardinsky and Kpani Addy. In 1996, Derek, along with Brian Davis and Andrew Hartzell, co-founded the Lions of Batucada, a Rio-style percussion ensemble. Currently he directs his Maracatu ensemble named Free Beat Nation along with GoGringoGo and Beatlore his other projects focusing on North American styles and electronica mixed with African based rhythms. Aside from his work with Pink Martini, he performs with Jujuba, Black Angel, Substrate and Lemonade. In addition, he works with Teatro Milagro, a community theater group, which presents music and dance traditions of the Caribbean, Central and South America and Axe Dide, led by Donna Oefinger. He is also a regular accompanist at the annual California Brazil Camp in Cazadero, California. Derek proudly uses LP (Latin Percussion) instruments.
Born in Lima, Peru, Martín’s musical interest was sparked at a young age by his exposure to South African musicians while living in London, including members of the jazz group District Six, as his mother (Dancer, Luciana Proano) would take him to rehearsals where he would eventually fall asleep under the piano. He began to formally study drum-set and hand percussion at age thirteen, and his professional music career began at age fifteen in Portland, OR when he met the group Al Andalus, with whom he traveled, performed, and recorded. In 1996 he was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, from where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. His teachers include Eusebio Sirio “Pititi”, “Chocolate” Algendones, Jamey Haddad, Dave DiCenso, Reinhardt Melz, Kenwood Dennard, Ernesto Diaz, Casey Scheuerell, and You Tube. He has traveled internationally as a performer and recording artist, working alongside Simon Shahin, Jamey Haddad and Leo Blanco, among others. One of his original compositions, “Mar Desconocido,” appears on Pink Martini’s third album, Hey Eugene! Martin proudly uses LP (Latin Percussion) instruments.
Internationally renowned bass player Phil Baker has been a member of Pink Maritni for the last six years and has appeared with the group and more than half of the major symphony orchestras in North America. Having appeared on over a thousand jazz, rock, pop and blues albums, Baker is one of the West Coast’s premiere bass players. Baker toured with Diana Ross for nine years appearing with her on “The Tonight Show” and sharing the stage with her during her legendary concert, “Diana Ross – Live At Central Park.”
Baker has also performed with jazz legends Eddie Harris, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Stitt, Diane Schuur, Tom Scott, Les McCann and Ernie Watts among hosts of other revered musicsians. He took the stage playing bass at the prestigious “Motown 25” with Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Linda Ronstadt. Baker has toured with Gino Vannelli and played on his “Yonder Tree” CD. Recently, Baker has appeared with Nat Adderley, Scott Hamilton and Joe Lovano. Baker, who has also appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, HBO, American Music Awards and Winter Olympics productions, has taught hundreds of bass students and dozens of clinics. He writes a monthly column for Bass Musician Magazine at www.bass-musician-magazine.com
Timothy Nishimoto (vocals and percussion) grew up in Los Angeles and started singing and performing at the age of two (winning a dance contest at the age of five!) in church choirs with his family. Throughout high school and college, he continued singing and performing in vocal jazz ensembles, barbershop quartets and theatrical productions. He graduated with a degree in Business from Cal State Long Beach, and opened Vino Paradiso Wine Bar and Bistro (www.vinoparadiso.com) in Portland in 2005. In the early days of Pink Martini, he performed with the band as a guest vocalist, and has been a permanent member since 2003.
Nicholas Crosa (violin) first appeared as a soloist at age 11 with the Portland Festival Symphony. His international debut occurred in 1996 when he performed a recital series as a guest of the Conservatory of Music of the City of Buenos Aires, in Argentina. He has since performed as a soloist with such orchestras as the Oregon Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Aspen Concert Orchestra, the Aspen Young Artists Orchestra, the Portland Youth Philharmonic, the Hilton Head Orchestra and other ensembles and chamber music recitals internationally. He was a scholarship student of the late Dorothy De Lay and Won Bin Yim at the Juilliard School in New York. As of May 2005 Nicholas has been performing as part of Pink Martini.
Pansy Chang (cello) is presently Associate Professor of Violoncello at Miami University of Ohio. She has performed in North America, Europe, and Israel. She has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Chamber Music Northwest, on Bob Sherman’s “Listening Room” – WQXR New York, and in both the Yale Spectrum Series and the Yale Faculty Artist Series in New Haven. Concerto appearances include performances with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, the Oregon Symphony, and regional orchestras in the Washington, DC and Portland metropolitan areas. In 1992 Ms. Chang was awarded a Fulbright Grant for study in the United Kingdom, and was a semi-finalist in the 1993 Leonard Rose International Cello Competition.
Ohio native Dan Faehnle (guitar) was until recently based in Portland, OR and established relationships with such legendary jazz artists as Leroy Vinnegar, Chuck Israels, Dave Frishberg and Rebecca Kilgore. Beginning in 2000, Faehnle stepped into the guitar chair with Diana Krall, performing on numerous world tours, television shows, radio and media events. As an integral part of the Diana Krall quartet for three years, Dan garnered accolades from such publications as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, JazzTimes and Downbeat magazines, as well as many international publications.He continues to work with such noted musicians as Dr. Lonnie Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Delfeayo Marsalis. He has also worked with Eddie Harris, Clark Terry, Zoot Sims, and Jeff Hamilton.. His solo recordings include My Ideal and Ohio Lunch (Heavywood Music).
Maureen Love (harp) was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She began private lessons on the harp at age nine and later received a music scholarship to the University of Southern California where she was chosen as soloist to perform Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro with the USC orchestra. She has performed extensively on the West Coast doing solo and ensemble work and teaches private instruction in harp. Maureen has recorded with several artist including her cousin, Brian Wilson of Beach Boy’s fame, and more recently with her brother, Mike Love on his solo album. She also has several recordings of her own. Over the last several years Maureen has performed, recorded, and toured extensively with Pink Martini on the West Coast, Europe, Turkey, London, Hong Kong, Japan, New York, as well as with the San Francisco Symphony, the Seattle Symphony and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.