It's not possible to count the number of continents in which the unique, genre-crossing musical group Pink Martini has performed on one hand.
Pink Martini, originally formed in Portland, Oregon, has performed shows in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Northern Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. The group's talented members also have had the chance to participate in concerts with some of the most renowned orchestras in the world.
And next month, they'll take the stage to perform in Williamsport at the Community Arts Center.
Shown is internationally-lauded Pink Martini, the so-called “little orchestra” that performs original music and covers influenced by orchestra, Latin, jazz and world music. The band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.
Pink Martini, the internationally-lauded, many-membered "little orchestra," will be giving a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St. and it's expected to be a show local music aficionados won't want to miss.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Community Arts Center executive director Rob Steele. "Pink Martini is a major international act that rarely plays anywhere but large metropolitan areas."
The group, first formed in 1994, was pianist Thomas Lauderdale's response to several disappointing musical performances that he witnessed while attending political fundraisers. He found much of the music played at such functions to be "underwhelming, lackluster, loud and un-neighborly."
In a quest to create a musical group that could both play a classy repertoire of music and appeal to every shade of the political spectrum, Lauderdale brought together the members of Pink Martini. The group released its first album, "Sympathique," in 1997 on its own label, Heinz Records, and immediately became an international success.
During the 20 years since its original inception, the group's style has spanned a multitude of genres and cultures, including jazz, classical, Latin, and pop.
In addition to drawing from the sounds of other cultures, Pink Martini also uses other languages in its songs. The group's longtime lead singer, China Forbes, has sung in over 12 different languages, while also helping to co-write many of the songs.
"Pink Martini is a rollicking, around-the-world musical adventure if the United Nations had a house band in 1962, hopefully we'd be that band," Lauderdale said.
The band itself is composed of 10 to 12 musicians at any given time, and has performed with orchestras around the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Pops and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Steele said that a friend of his, Rick Coulter, described the group to him as "an outrageously talented group of musicians who play the absolute best music from every country in the world."
"I have had them on my radar screen for over three years, and I actually can't believe they are going to be on our stage," Steele said. "They represent the 'gold standard' of musicianship, and their performances are described as magical."
Pink Martini released their eighth studio album, "Dream a Little Dream" in March. On the album, the track "Pink" features the musical talents of Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp, the great-grandchildren of the real-life subjects of "The Sound of Music," Captain and Maria von Trapp.
But in spite of all the positive developments for Pink Martini, there has been some recent sadness.
In mid-August, the group's longtime percussionist, Derek Rieth, passed away. But Pink Martini will continue to perform, having posted on their Facebook page that "Derek would want nothing more than for the show to go on."
And on Sept. 14, Steele expects it to be quite a show indeed.
"I suspect everyone who is lucky enough to see this show will have to pinch themselves and say 'I can't believe what I just saw on the stage of the CAC,' " he said.
Tickets currently are on sale and can be bought at the CAC box office, by visiting www.caclive.com or by calling 570-326-2424.