Pink Martini describes itself thus: “If there was a house band at the United Nations in the 1960s, it would be us.” The band performs songs in around twenty different languages and tours throughout the world. In 2016, Pink Martini released its ninth studio album, Je dis oui! It features vocals from China Forbes, Storm Large, Ari Shapiro, fashion guru Ikram Goldman, civil rights activist Kathleen Saadat, and Rufus Wainwright. The album is the band’s happiest in years; it features 15 tracks spanning eight languages (French, Farsi, Armenian, Portuguese, Arabic, Turkish, Xhosa and English), and affirms the band’s 23-year history of global inclusivity and collaborative spirit.
But last night was special in an extraordinary way for one of our students, Weston Keller, who plays violin in SFYSA Youth Philharmonic. Pink Martini is the favorite band of this father and son, Eric and Weston Keller, who have been going regularly together to see them since 2013. Weston has had a dream of playing with them, and even has his sights set on replacing violinist Nicholas Crosa in the band (once he retires)!
Last night, part of Weston’s dream came true when he played Concerto in G Minor, 3rd Movement: Allegro by A. Vivaldi with bandleader Thomas Lauderdale accompanying him on piano. He rehearsed with Thomas for the first time that day!
Through understandable nerves, Weston played his solo very well, and his stage presence was amazing! As his dad, Eric Keller shares, “The concert promoter gave Weston the oversized poster from last night’s show as a keepsake. Lead singer China Forbes inscribed it, ‘Weston, You Killed It!’” The rest of the band signed it as well… and Weston even joined the autograph line.”
According to others who were in attendance:
“Weston was a rock star!”
“He must be a prodigy. He was so cool and he played great!”
According to Weston, yesterday was the biggest day of his life so far. Not only did he play with Pink Martini, he started 7th grade at Desert Academy. All of us at SFYSA congratulate you Weston and wish you many more amazing days!