pink martini

What do you get when you combine 2 violinists, 1 cellist, 3 multi-percussionists, a guitar, a bass, a trumpet, a trombone, 2 vocalists and a extremely energetic pianist? Why, Pink Martini, of course. We had the extreme pleasure of catching their concert at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, part of the Place des Arts complex in downtown Montreal. The music was, in a word, sublime.

Our journey to Pink Martin began last year, when my wife just happened to flip on the TV to PBS, and there was this band on. “Hey, honey, come here quick!” “What?” “Just come!” They’re singing a song with my name in it. It’s hard not to like a band who sings a song with your name in it. It happens to be the closing number, and that’s it. We didn’t get to hear any more, but it was captivating, for that moment.

Fast forward to my planning the trip, and I see that Pink Martini is at the Montreal Jazz festival. That does it, I book the tickets as soon as they come available. And we were not disappointed.

Fun, accessible, somewhat campy music. Combining classical, latin, spanish, greek, french and even japanese music styles and songs, Pink Martini gives you a musical variety that keeps you interested throughout the whole evening. There is so much to watch, there’s so much going on. Both DW and I are musicians, so we appreciated the level of musicianship and effort that goes into getting a large group like this together. It was flawlessly executed from start to finish, a delight for us to watch. The pianist was flamboyant, and would frequently start playing after introducing the song even before he had really sat down, he just kind of descended onto the piano and began. The percussionists all switched around to different instruments, which was really cool. And the string players all had skills, wow. The lead singer has a great voice and a fun presence. All in all, highly recommended if you can catch them live.

The Gazette’s review.

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