The Berlin Blackout of “White Christmas” in Japanese

Saori Yuki, Marco Werman and Thomas Lauderdale

In the last edition of PRI’s The World for 2011, we’ll be featuring Portland, Oregon’s own Pink Martini. If you don’t know of them yet, you should. Led by founder Thomas Lauderdale, the ensemble is a quirky modern version of an old dance orchestra. They’re also keenly motivated by the state of the planet. Last year, Pink Martini met and performed with Japanese pop music legend Saori Yuki. The relationship deepened in 2011 with the destruction of the March tsunami in northeast Japan. Plans then gelled for Yuki to perform again with Pink Martini in the U.S. for a tsunami benefit concert.

When Lauderdale and Yuki came to The World’s studio recently, she sang a priceless version of Auld Lang Syne in Japanese. Here though is Lauderdale and Yuki telling the backstory of how they accompanied her last year when she sang a translated Japanese version of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”

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