CHINA FORBES OF PINK MARTINI
China Forbes was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She graduated cum laude from Harvard after winning the Jonathan Levy Prize for “most promising actor” having majored in painting and English literature, with a minor in theater. She earned her Equity card appearing in New York regional theatre and off-Broadway productions while also performing regularly as a singer/songwriter in NYC clubs. Her first album “Love Handle” (November Records) was released in 1995 and she was chosen to sing “Ordinary Girl,” the theme song to the TV show Clueless (ABC/UPN).
In 1995 Harvard classmate Thomas Lauderdale invited her to sing with Pink Martini, and she has since fronted the band as well as written many of the band’s most beloved songs with Lauderdale, including “Sympathique (Je ne Veux Pas Travailler),” “Lilly,” “Una Notte a Napoli,” “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love,” “Over the Valley” to name a few. In 2000, “Sympathique“ was nominated for song of the year at (the French Grammy awards) Les Victoires de la Musique.
China’s original song “Hey Eugene” appears on 78 (Heinz) her second solo album, a collection of autobiographical folk-rock songs, and is also the title track of Pink Martini’s third album. Many of her songs can be heard on television and film. She sang “Que Sera Sera” over the credits of Jane Campion’s film In the Cut and her original song “The Northern Line” appears at the end of sister Maya Forbes’ directorial debut Infinitely Polar Bear (Sony Pictures Classics). Both films star Mark Ruffalo by coincidence.
With Pink Martini, China has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Later with Jools Holland. She has performed songs in over 20 languages on 9 Pink Martini studio albums, and has sung duets with Rufus Wainwright, Michael Feinstein, Carol Channing and many more. She has performed in legendary venues from Carnegie Hall to Red Rocks, the Hollywood Bowl, Paris’s Olympia Theatre, the Sydney Opera House and London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Pink Martini’s latest original song co-written by China, “The Lemonade Song,” was released during the pandemic to millions of streams. In July 2021, China released “Full Circle,” the first single from her upcoming solo album project (due in September 2023), followed by the anthemic single “Rise” in 2022. China Forbes received the 2022 Ella Fitzgerald Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival; previous winners include Diana Ross, Etta James, Liza Minelli and Aretha Franklin.