Groups that Give Back
By Dulce Balandran
Thomas Lauderdale, the band’s leader, was an aspiring politician before forming the band that got his inspiration for Pink Martini after attending one too many political fundraisers where the musical entertainment just fell flat. The band has performed all over the globe including Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa—Pink Martini aspires to continue making music for the world but its roots in politics remain at the core of Pink Martini.
The band supports progressive politics, positive change and it continues to participate in fundraisers for civil rights, affordable housing and other great causes—Pink Martini has a charm that allows it to speak to audiences in countries around the globe, not just in our native U.S.
This charm works because some messages are as important and universal as music; the environment, libraries, education and parks are all subjects that remain near and dear to Pink Martini’s heart. This 10-12 piece little orchestra is an international phenomenon that has had all of its first five albums go gold in France, Canada, Greece and Turkey.
Pink Martini is just one example of bands and musicians that use their global power to reach out to the world using their music and influence in the name of a good cause, but there are many more.
Bono of U2 advocates the fight against AIDs and HIV with his (RED) foundation and regularly helps impoverished countries in Africa. Jack Johnson is an avid environmentalist that uses his fame and fortune to advocate for environmental change. He started the Kokua Hawaii Foundation and sponsors programs for children to get excited and learn to care for the world around them. Carlos Santana started the Milagro Foundation, just one of his many humanitarian projects, that awards grants and donates instruments to disadvantaged youth.
Other notable names—Elton John is an activist for the fight against AIDS/HIV, Madonna for poverty, Paul McCartney for PETA and there was Bob Marley, who preached for peace around the globe. There are countless amounts of musicians who work towards a positive change in our world because they believe in the power of music.
There is that old saying “Music is the universal language.” Among all the musicians turned humanitarians out there, Pink Martini really takes that concept to heart and makes it reality as they continue to learn and sing in different languages, allowing it to reach out to the world.