Je dis oui!, the new album from acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based Pink Martini, will be released November 18 on Heinz Records. The album title, pronounced “zhuh dee wee”, means “I say yes!” in French, and that refrain decorates the chorus of the first single from the album, “Joli garçon.” The 15-track album features bandleader Thomas M. Lauderdale and his “little orchestra,” as well as lead singers China Forbes and Storm Large. Additionally, the album includes guest vocalists Ari Shapiro, fashion maven Ikram Goldman, Kathleen Saadat, and Rufus Wainwright.
In support of the release, the band will embark on a worldwide tour this fall and winter, including three dates at Paris’s legendary Olympia Theatre in October, and two shows at Los Angeles’s famed Disney Concert Hall on New Year’s Eve. See last page for complete tour details.
Je dis oui! is Pink Martini’s ninth studio album; the album was recorded at Kung Fu Bakery and B-Side Studios in Portland, OR, over the past six months. Lauderdale produced the album along with Kyle Mustain, and the recording was engineered by longtime collaborator Dave Friedlander along with Steve Sundholm, and mixed by Steve Sundholm. Highlights on the record include three original songs co-written by Thomas Lauderdale featured in the forthcoming movie Souvenir starring legendary French actress Isabelle Huppert. The album also features a stunning version of the classic “Blue Moon” by the satin-voiced Rufus Wainwright, “Finnisma Di,” a new Arabic version of the band’s early hit “La soledad” sung by NPR’s Ari Shapiro (host of All Things Considered), and several new songs voiced by the band’s lead singers China Forbes and Storm Large.
The multilingual album features songs in English, French, Arabic, Farsi, Portuguese, Turkish, and the band’s first forays into Armenian and Xhosa. The first single from the album, “Joli garçon,” is being released today on digital platforms all over the world.
The new album follows a highly successful few years for the band, who in 2014 were inducted into both the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. Also in 2014, the band released its eighth studio album, Dream a Little Dream, a collaboration with Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp, the actual great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp, made famous by the musical and movie The Sound of Music. In 2012, the band was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning (the full piece can be viewed here). The band’s 2013 release Get Happy received a rapturous reception from fans and press around the world, with Britain’s Sunday Times raving that the album is “multi-lingual and defiantly cosmopolitan... the best disc the group have released. “
Pink Martini was founded in Portland, OR in 1994 by Harvard graduate and classically trained pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale to play political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, affordable housing and public broadcasting. China Forbes, a classmate of Lauderdale’s at Harvard, joined the ensemble in 1995. In the years since, Pink Martini’s six studio albums have collectively sold over 3 million copies worldwide, all on the band’s own label, Heinz Records.
The ensemble has also gone on to perform its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras worldwide including concerts with the Boston Pops, San Francisco Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Singer Storm Large began performing with Pink Martini in March 2011, when China Forbes took a leave of absence to undergo surgery on her vocal cords. Forbes made full recovery and now both she and Large continue performing and touring with the band.