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Martini @ Davies Symphony Hall

The last time I fell in love from seeing a group perform live it was about 1999. Added to a short yet diverse list of "instant loves" that have come before them (Soul Sauce, Omar Sosa, John Santos, SoVoSo, The Bobs), I find my tastes now that I am a thirtysomething are longing for EXACTLY what Pink Martini has nailed in their repetoire.

I cannot sing enough of the praises of the Latin, African, rhythmic, Cubano and yet poignant sounds of Pink Martini- who I saw play last night with the San Francisco Symphony. A pianist, vocalist, trumpet player, trombonist, cellist and some awesome drummers makes this group's live shows something to pay a $10 Ticketmaster fee for without looking back (We booked our tickets for their show at the Warfield in November this morning). Part Ella, part Bobs, part a capella, and a huge part Latin jazz (and some awesome African rhythms too!) from all over the Spanish-speaking world this is an amazing group that has their finger on the pulse.

China, the only woman in the group who packs as much if not more "front man" punch as a as Lavay Smith or Donovan (who after many years weaning on his nature-oriented works from the 60s I had the pleasure of seeing at Cafe du Nord back in 2005) has a lush voice and the pieces they played last night flowed from melancholy, to Japanese, to Croatian, to oh-so-French, to Spanish and both intermission and the end garnered standing ovations that left us all out of our seats and dancing at the end of the encore.

I'd also never been inside Davies- what an amazing place. As I clapped and my hands began to itch, my mind wandered into that thought I had when I am usually clapping myself silly- how I'm clapping my hands into red itchiness--and how they say when your hands itch you are going to come into some money. I wondered how many more Pink Martini concerts I should go to to get those bucks rolling in.

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