Honolulu’s legendary Don Tiki — the collaborative of stellar musicians, vocalists and dancers that reinvented the jungle jazzy sounds of exotica — brings a bit of sunshine and BIG fun to the season with its Hot Lava Holiday Show!
Drawing inspiration from the original mid-century masters of the exotica sound, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman and Les Baxter, Don Tiki has moved this evocative genre of music into the 21st century. In fact, Denny gave the band his seal of approval when he played on its 1997 debut album, The Forbidden Sounds of Don Tiki. Further deepening Don Tiki’s credentials is its percussionist and bird caller, Lopaka Colón, son of Augie Colón, who had the same role in Denny’s band.
Don Tiki will play songs from all four of its albums including its latest release, South of the Boudoir, which won the Hawaii Music Awards Adult Contemporary Album of the Year. Don Tiki’s year-end holiday show at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Arts had attendees simultaneously laughing and dancing in the aisles!
The troupe consists of band leader and composer Kit Ebersbach on keyboards; bassist and purring song stylist Hai-Jung; Charles Degala and Tei Tatafu, Jr., on virile vocals; vocalist, dancer and comedienne Sherry Shaoling; percussionist Lopaka Colón; Tim Mayer on reeds; Abe Lagrimas, Jr., on vibes and percussion; tribal drummer Jason Segler; Ryoko Oka on keyboards and t’rung (a Vietnamese bamboo xylophone); and exotica dancer Violetta Beretta, plus special guest artist Frank Orrall of Thievery Corporation and Poi Dog Pondering.
Don Tiki is a creative collaboration of Lloyd Kandell and Kit Ebersbach. The band has played everywhere from local tiki dives to the Honolulu Symphony, Waikiki showrooms and glitzy Las Vegas palaces, and has headlined at a summer music festival in Berlin and Tiki Oasis in San Diego.
When Don Tiki appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, the food impresario came away raving, “Tiki supergroup Don Tiki knows the world, the subculture of tiki…. [I]t really doesn’t get much better than this!”
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