Shaken and Stirred by Pink Martini

Exquisite. That is the word that highlights and encapsulates my night at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth seeing the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra featuring Pink Martini. From the moment I stepped into the venue, I entered into a world of class, culture, and humor, shaping the night to be one of excitement and accessibility. Whether you are a classical, latin, or jazz fan, you will be charmed and transcended by beautiful voices, strings, brass, percussion, and more.

The sheer amount of languages and musical genres allowed for an inclusive and welcoming night. You could hear English, French, Spanish, Croatian, Romanian, and Japanese to name a few. With songs ranging from the classics like “Rhapsody in Blue” to folk songs like “Până când nu te iubeam,” to classical guitar like “Malaguena,” to even more originals like Pink Martini’s “Hey Eugene,” or my favorite, “U Plavu Zoru,” a Croatian song featuring China Forbes as vocals and my favorite solo of the night by violinist Nicholas Crosa. Typically this song opens and closes with a cello solo, but Nicholas Crosa serves a legendary bariolage with the cleanest glassy tone I have ever heard from a violin and acoustic instrument. Nicholas Crosa is just one example of the master collection that makes up the whole of Pink Martini. I find it important to note that even with fancy instruments, classy musicians, and decorated audience members, the energy of the concert felt like being welcomed home. That is, if you were home in a tux or evening gown with a glass of wine hosting a dinner party with the friends you’ve met throughout your studies and travels across the world. So, I’d say a typical Friday evening.

The entire night felt like a rotation of talent and passion. As an audience member, I have never felt so overwhelmed and inspired as each performer got to showcase their life’s purpose. Pink Martini’s China Forbes started the night off with banter and sultry tunes that would make any person’s soul set ablaze. Edna Vasquez gave hauntingly beautiful performances showcasing her voice and spanish guitar talents. Jimmie Herrod offered excellence and genius reflected in his bold and ranging vocals. There was also the wonderful Timothy Nishimoto, who not only has a perfect voice, but a performative energy that could make the most posed and serious do a little jig. And these are just the vocals. There was the pianist and creator of Pink Martini, Thomas Lauderdale, hosting the entire show, and of course, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. I could go on for hours talking about the greatness of each individual musician and the nuances that each audience member was able to catch thanks to the venue. The Bass Performance Hall’s superior acoustics allowed every nuance to be echoed through the ears of hundreds from the orchestra pit to the upper gallery.

Even as the concert was ending, the energy never left, as each member of Pink Martini continued with humorous stories and banter, as well as coordinating a conga line for audience members to join in on the quirky fun. If there is anything that you take from this event review, never write out a night at the symphony, and if there is a Pink Martini concert near you, grab your evening gown or fancy pants, dancing shoes, and be prepared to laugh, marvel, and appreciate true musical talent.