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Pink Martini featuring China Forbes and Asleep at the Wheel Coming to the Kauffman Center this October

Kauffman Center Presents Pink Martini featuring China Forbes
and Asleep at the Wheel this fall
 

Featuring a dozen musicians, with songs in 25 languages, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages on six continents. After making its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998, the band has gone on to play with more than 50 orchestras around the world.

Drawing inspiration from music from all over the world and crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop,  Thomas Lauderdale founded the “little orchestra” Pink Martini in 1994 to provide more beautiful and inclusive musical soundtracks around issues of social change.

One year later, Lauderdale called China Forbes, a Harvard classmate who was living in New York City, and asked her to join the band. With Pink Martini, China has appeared on The Late Show with David LettermanLate Night with Conan O’BrienThe Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Later with Jools Holland. She has performed songs in over 20 languages and has sung duets with Rufus Wainwright, Michael Feinstein, Carol Channing and many others. 

Pink Martini has released 11 studio albums on its own independent label Heinz Records (named after Lauderdale’s dog), selling over 3 million albums worldwide. In 2019, the band released two EPs featuring the vocals of Pink Martini’s newest members Jimmie Herrod and Edna Vazquez. Both vocalists have toured with the band for the past year and are officially part of the group with the release of Herrod’s EP Tomorrow and Vaquez’s Besame Mucho, both of which were co-produced by Thomas Lauderdale and China Forbes.

“We’re very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad and therefore have the incredible diplomatic opportunity to represent a broader, more inclusive America… the America which remains the most heterogeneously populated country in the world… composed of people of every country, every language, every religion,” says Thomas Lauderdale.  

Tickets for Pink Martini featuring China Forbes range from $39 to $79 plus applicable fees. Tickets are available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222 or online at kauffmancenter.org.   

On Oct. 30, 2021, Asleep at the Wheel takes the Muriel Kauffman Theater stage for the evening. Inspired by Western swing and honky-tonk country, the band has accrued 10 Grammy Awards. 

Founded in 1970 by Ray Benson, Asleep at the Wheel has been part of the American roots music landscape for more than 50 years. Although the band got its start on a farm in Paw Paw, West Virginia, Asleep at the Wheel became a cornerstone of the Austin, Texas, scene upon its arrival in 1973.

This fall, a career retrospective recorded with the current lineup and a few special guests, will carry the band back onto the road, where they’ve remained a staple for five decades.

Fifty years in,  some of its members and audiences represent a new generation. That far-reaching appeal remains a testament to Benson’s initial vision.

“How do you keep this music going?” Benson asks. “Well, you’ve got to have some young people. If young people aren’t doing this, then we’re just a museum – and I don’t want to be a museum.”

Tickets for Asleep at the Wheel range from $39 to $59 plus applicable fees. Tickets are available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222 or online at kauffmancenter.org.  

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