Back in 1994 in Portland, Oregon, Thomas Lauderdale was an eager politician-in-training, busily attending every political fundraiser he could with ambitions of one day running for mayor. Dismayed by how consistently abysmal the music was at these events, he began a mission with an avowed goal of creating a beautiful, inclusive soundtrack for political fundraisers for causes such as civil rights, the environment and affordable housing. And so the ‘little orchestra’ Pink Martini was founded, a genre-crossing, multilingual musical melting pot of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop which now features more than a dozen musicians and performs at high-profile events around the globe.
The band has now played with more than 50 orchestras around the world, including the National Symphony at the Kennedy Centre, the San Francisco Symphony and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London, as well as TV appearances including Later… with Jools Holland and Late Show with Letterman. They stop by in Cambridge as part of their 21st birthday tour, which visits the Corn Exchange on 13 April. Tickets cost £29.75 to £32.75.