Arts Blog

Christa Wessel Meets Thomas Lauderdale & The Pilgrims

Desktop banner for Christa Wessel interview with Thomas Lauderdale

Host Christa Wessel spoke with Pink Martini bandleader and Portland pianist Thomas Lauderdale about his new collaboration album with legendary Portland surf rockers Satan’s Pilgrims. Over 25 years in the making, the new album, Thomas Lauderdale Meets The Pilgrims, features new takes on beloved standards such as Night and Day, Malagueña, and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Infusing classical music and Thomas’s sparkling piano work with the Pilgrims’ signature surf rock sound, it’s the perfect summer party record you can enjoy all year round!

Hear Christa and Thomas‘s exciting conversation below:

Christa Wessel interviews Thomas Lauderdale

Thomas Lauderdale Meets The Pilgrims album cover

Thomas Lauderdale Meets The Pilgrims is available now on CD and vinyl at pinkmartini.com!

Experience the album live at the Crystal Ballroom on Thursday, May 18, 2023. Tickets and more information at crystalballroompdx.com.


ABOUT

Thomas Lauderdale was raised on a plant nursery in rural Indiana. He began piano lessons at age six with Patricia Garrison. When his family moved to Portland in 1982, he began studying with Sylvia Killman, who to this day continues to serve as his coach and mentor. He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Oregon Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Portland Youth Philharmonic, Chamber Music Northwest and Oregon Ballet Theatre (where he collaborated with choreographer James Canfield and visual artists Storm Tharp and Malia Jensen on a ballet based on Felix Salten’s Bambi, written in 1923).

Lauderdale currently serves on the boards of the Oregon Symphony, Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Oregon Historical Society, Confluence Project with Maya Lin and the Derek Rieth Foundation. He lives in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Learn more at pinkmartini.com.


Satan’s Pilgrims formed in 1992 during a series of house parties hosted by the members of the band, and were playing shows in their hometown of Portland, Oregon by 1993. Twisting their name from the 60’s AIP film “Satan’s Sadists” and donning their now familiar matching outfits complete with vampire capes, they became a band. 

The Pilgrims are one of the most influential surf instrumental bands around and while much of their sound has a definite Southern California influence, what sets them apart is the legacy of their Pacific Northwest rock ‘n’ roll ancestors and other influences, creating their own sub-genre of surf instrumental that many fans call “Pilgrim Rock”.

Read more at satans-pilgrims.com.


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