At 77 years old, Portland’s legend of civil rights activism, Kathleen Saadat, is making her recording debut after a lifetime of singing behind the scenes.
With an international release date set for March 2, “Love for Sale” is a 10-track album of jazz standards featuring Saadat’s lead vocals and arrangements by Thomas Lauderdale. It also includes performances from members of his Portland-based “little” orchestra, Pink Martini – an ensemble that fuses classical, Latin music, pop and jazz.
As one of Oregon’s most respected social and political activists, Saadat has advocated for equality and social justice for over 40 years. Her dedication has assisted marginalized and under-represented groups including communities of color, women, and LGBTQ people.
Saadat was appointed Oregon’s affirmative action director under Gov. Neil Goldschmidt in 1987. Later, she worked within Multnomah County’s Department of Community and Family Services and helped draft the Portland Civil Rights Ordinance. She was also the diversity director at Cascade AIDS Project, and in 2012 she accepted the Lifetime Achievement from the Portland Human Rights Commission.
But when she wasn’t on the frontlines of the cause, Saadat was singing.
View a video of Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale and Kathleen Saadat on Live Wire Radio at: https://youtu.be/mjdisr8yDCk