Pink Martini featuring China Forbes

In 1994, in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, Thomas Lauderdale was working in politics, thinking he would run for mayor one day.  Like other eager politicians-in-training, he went to every political fundraiser under the sun… but was dismayed to find the music at these events underwhelming, lackluster, loud, and unneighborly.  Drawing inspiration from music from all over the world—crossing genres of classical, jazz, and old-fashioned pop—and hoping to appeal to conservatives and liberals alike, he founded the “little orchestra” Pink Martini in 1994.  His aim?  To provide more beautiful and inclusive soundtracks for political fundraisers supporting causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, the environment, libraries, public broadcasting, education, and parks.

One year later, Lauderdale called China Forbes, a Harvard classmate living in New York City, and asked her to join Pink Martini.  They began to write songs together.  Their first, “Sympathique,” was an overnight sensation in France and nominated for Song of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique Awards.  To this day, it remains a mantra for striking workers:  “Je ne veux pas travailler (I don’t want to work)”.

Pink Martini has sold well over 3 million albums worldwide on their own independent label, Heinz Records (named after Lauderdale’s dog).  In 2016, they released their ninth studio album, Je dis oui!, which features vocals from China Forbes, Storm Large, Ari Shapiro, fashion guru Ikram Goldman, civil rights activist Kathleen Saadat, and Rufus Wainwright.  The album’s 15 tracks span eight languages (French, Farsi, Armenian, Portuguese, Arabic, Turkish, Xhosa, and English), and affirm the band’s history of global inclusivity and collaborative spirit.  In 2019, Pink Martini collaborated on a new release with the international singing sensation Meow Meow, titled Hotel Amour, and also released two five-song EPs, Besame Mucho, featuring regular guest singer Edna Vazquez, and Tomorrow, featuring regular guest singer Jimmie Herrod, a finalist on 2021’s season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent.  During their pandemic hiatus, the band released two new digital singles written by Lauderdale, Forbes, and producer Jim Bianco, “Let’s Be Friends” and “The Lemonade Song,” which has over 10 million streams on Spotify alone.

Featuring more than a dozen musicians, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire throughout the world.  Says Lauderdale, “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.”

The band made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony the following year.  Since then, Pink Martini has played with more than 50 orchestras internationally, including Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, National Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and the BBC Concert Orchestra at London’s Royal Albert Hall.  Other appearances include a performance at the official post-Oscars celebration, Governors Ball, four sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall, the opening party of the remodeled Museum of Modern Art in New York, multiple sellouts and a festival opening at Montreal Jazz Festival, and multiple appearances, including sellouts, at the Hollywood Ball and Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.  In its 20th year, Pink Martini was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.  In 2024, the band is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Another Longworth-Anderson Series evening of great music, food, and drink!  Complimentary pre-concert reception features live local music, light bites from Ollie’s Trolley and N.Y.P.D. Pizza, and craft beer tastings from HighGrain Brewing Co.

Don Was & The Pan Detroit Ensemble

Music has always loomed large in the life of DON WAS.  Born in Detroit in 1952, he has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a musician, record producer, music director, film composer, documentary filmmaker, and radio host.

For his work as a record producer, he has won six Grammy Awards – including Album of the Year in 1989 for Bonnie Raitt’s Nick of Time and Producer of the Year in 1994.  Records that Don has produced have sold close to 100 million albums for a wide array of artists like The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, John Mayer, Ringo Starr, Wayne Shorter, The B52s, and Charles Lloyd.  In 1995, he produced and directed a documentary about the life of Brian Wilson, I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times, that won the San Francisco Film Festival’s Golden Gate Award.  As a film composer, Don won the 1994 British Academy Award (BAFTA) for Best Original Score in recognition of his work on the film Backbeat.  He also won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction for his work on the CBS television special, The Beatles: The Night That Changed America.  In 2018, Don was invited to join Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir to form the Wolf Brothers.  They continue to consistently tour the US.

In 2011, Was became President of the iconic jazz label Blue Note Records.  He fiercely protects the company’s eighty-five-year-old legacy, meticulously caretaking the revered catalog of Black American Music.  This includes maintaining the availability and quality of vinyl reissues in the Tone Poet and Classic Jazz audiophile release series.  He also signs and produces many of the label’s recent roster of artists, including Robert Glasper, Charles Lloyd, Wayne Shorter, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Gregory Porter, and Jason Moran.

Don’s deep Detroit roots keep him anchored to the city where, for the last 15 years, he has music directed and played bass in the Don Was Detroit All Star Revue concerts, which are part of Detroit’s annual diversity festival, The Concert of Colors.  From 2009-2012, Don hosted a weekly Sirius XM radio show on the Outlaw Country channel called The Motor City Hayride.  Since 2021, he has co-hosted a weekly, live radio show on Detroit’s NPR station, WDET-FM, called The Don Was Motor City Playlist.  Don is also the voice of Neville the Dog in the hit Amazon Prime Video children’s show, Pete the Cat.

Recently, the artist has unveiled his new band, dubbed Don Was & The Pan Detroit Ensemble, featuring an assemblage of jazz-leaning artists from his hometown, including longtime collaborator Dave McMurray (sax) and Luis Resto (keyboard). In conjunction with the news, the group has dropped a series of first-time tour dates slated for May and early June.

“When the opportunity came to put together a new band, the message was clear to me: go back to Detroit where I came from, be who I am, play like who I am and team up with some like-minded individuals,” says Was.

 Another Longworth-Anderson Series evening of great music, food, and drink!  Complimentary pre-concert reception features live local music, light bites from Ollie’s Trolley and N.Y.P.D. Pizza, and craft beer tastings from HighGrain Brewing Co.

Pokey LaFarge with The Tailspins

After crisscrossing the nation for the last half-decade looking for a home, Pokey LaFarge found himself in Mid-Coast Maine.  Upon arriving, the Illinois-born singer/songwriter/actor pursued a major life change, working 12-hour days on a local farm—a turn of events that catalyzed an extraordinary burst of creativity and redefined his sense of purpose as an artist.  On his new album Rhumba Country, LaFarge reveals his newly heightened devotion to making music that channels pure joy.  “There was a time when I glorified sadness because I lost sight of who I was, but now I understand that creating and expressing joy is my gift, and gifts are meant to be shared,” he says.  Reclaiming his voice, LaFarge has recorded his boldest album yet.  Rhumba Country was initially shaped from material that emerged while LaFarge was deep in work on the farm.  “I’d be pushing a plow or scattering seeds, and the songs would just come to me,” he recalls.  “It was tremendously inspirational and made me realize that apart from singing, farming is perhaps the oldest human art form.”  But as he moved forward with his songwriting, something felt undeniably amiss.  LaFarge then spoke with fellow Midwestern transplant Elliot Bergman (Wild Belle), who suggested he return to city life in Los Angeles for a season so that the two musicians could work together—a collaboration that soon brought the rhumba to LaFarge’s country.  As he immersed himself in the album’s creation, LaFarge began dreaming up a kaleidoscopic sound informed by his love of music from far-ranging eras and corners of the globe, including mambo, tropicália, rocksteady, and mid-century American rock-and-roll.  Co-produced along with Chris Seefried and Bergman and recorded in L.A., the resulting Rhumba Country is an invitation to come together to celebrate life and love.  “The songs that naturally come to me are upbeat and make you wanna dance or at least bop your head—they’re all very colorful,” says LaFarge. “I used to think of my music in dark blue, but now I see it in technicolor.”

The Tailspins hit the ground running as a hand-selected act to support Jack White’s “Supply Chain Issues” tour in 2022. The husband & wife duo go electric for their latest single “Inmate Number 99” – recorded LIVE in studio the old-fashioned way, engineered & mixed by Josh Jové from Social Distortion, and backed by an all-star band ft. Nicholas Baker from LA LOM on drums, Lakshmi Ramirez from The Groove Empire Orchestra on bass, and Alex Hernandez on baritone sax.

The duo dazzled fans coast to coast supporting The Surfrajettes in early 2024, including Aaron Frazer – who described their hometown Los Angeles set as “incredible” on social media.

The Tailspins’ self-titled EP is in stores now from Nu-Tone, and a brand new 45 is at the press for late spring 2024 release.

Another Longworth-Anderson Series evening of great music, food, and drink!  Complimentary pre-concert reception features live local music, light bites from Ollie’s Trolley and N.Y.P.D. Pizza, and craft beer tastings from HighGrain Brewing Co.

Ravi Coltrane featuring Gadi Lehavi and Ele Howell

RAVI COLTRANE is a critically acclaimed Grammy nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. In the course of a twenty plus year career, Mr. Coltrane has worked as a sideman to many, and recorded noteworthy albums for himself and others.

Ravi has released six albums as a leader. His albums include, “Moving Pictures,” “From The Round Box,” “Mad 6,” “In Flux,” “Blending Times,” and “Spirit Fiction.” He also has collaborated on various albums, including, “Seraphic Light” with Joe Lovano and David Liebman, “In Movement” with Jack DeJohnette and Matthew Garrison, and The Blue Note’s 70th Anniversary recording, “Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note.” Additional credits include performances as well as recordings with Elvin Jones, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Baron, Steve Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Matt Garrison, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Geri Allen, Joanne Brackeem, The Blue Note 7, among others.

Born in Long Island, the second son of John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane, Ravi was named after Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar. He was raised in Los Angeles where his family moved after his father’s death in 1967. His mother, Alice Coltrane, was a significant influence on Ravi and it was he who encouraged Alice to return to performance and the recording studio after a long absence. Subsequently, Ravi produced and played on Alice Coltrane’s powerful, ‘Translinear Light’, which was released in 2004.

Ravi lives in Brooklyn, NY and maintains a fast paced touring, recording, composing and performance schedule. He leads the effort to restore the John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, Long Island and presides over important reissues of his parent’s recordings.

Another Longworth-Anderson Series evening of great music, food, and drink!  Complimentary pre-concert reception features live local music, light bites from Ollie’s Trolley and N.Y.P.D. Pizza, and craft beer tastings from HighGrain Brewing Co.