Pink Martini

In 2010, Portland's Pink Martini released the album of holiday music many had been longing for—one that eschewed shiny pop trends in favor of warm nostalgia. Like Bob Dylan's Christmas in the Heart, Martini's Joy to the World was intended to remind us of the past, when Bing Crosby, Eartha Kitt, and Jackie Gleason brought holiday cheer, not Justin Bieber. In typical Martini fashion, yesterday's sounds are buoyed by multi-denominational nods, from the Chinese New Year ("Congratulations") to Hanukkah ("Elohai, N'tzor"). Martini is kicking off its holiday tour in Seattle, notably augmented by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, but it also marks the return of singer China Forbes, who has been on leave recovering from surgery on her vocal cords. Watching them should feel like Christmas in the '30s or '50s—a suave salon orchestra with a torch singer capable of performing anything, whether it's "White Christmas" sung in Japanese or a rousing "Auld Lang Syne" bubbling with Brazilian carnival flavor. BRIAN J. BARR

Sat., Dec. 3, 8 p.m., 2011

 
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