Pink-Martini1Pink Martini — fronted by vocalist China Forbes and maestro-impresario Thomas Lauderdale — returns to the Count Basie stage for a Tuesday night toddy on September 16.

Like their confectionary cocktail namesake, Pink Martini is a deceptively cartoon-colored concoction that carries a serious kick; a cross-cultural mixology of flavors and influences that leaves those who partake with an afterbuzz that’s equal parts “what just happened” and “let’s do it again.”

The brainchild of bespectacled pianist, maestro and impresario Thomas Lauderdale, the ten-piece “little orchestra” recently marked its tenth anniversary as a globetrotting provider of soundtracks to events that range from The Cause (civic happenings, political fundraisers) to just-because (free outdoor concerts, and numerous guest collaborations with symphonies on six continents). The conceptual combo that Lauderdale described as “if the United Nations had a house band in 1962” brings its multilingual bouillabaisse of classical, jazz and songbook-pop spicings back to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre on Tuesday, September 16.

When the presumably Very Big Bus pulls into station stop Basie, it will pack a secret weapon, in the person of bandstand singer China Forbes. The classic frontwoman lends her breathy vocals to a set that spans Neapolitan love songs, German pop, Samba stylings and some hybrids that have yet to be triangulated on the sonic GPS. Tickets for the 8 pm show ($25 – $75) can be reserved right here.