With accomplished musicianship and a wacky sense of humor, the Hulas play swing, rockabilly, blues, country, and campy Hawaiian standards. They may even sell you a Hawaiian shirt. Welcoming you with Aloha are Moe Nelson on upright bass, harmonica, and ukulele; Mark Noone on guitar and ukulele; Ben Holmes on percussion; Gary Ferguson on lead guitar; and Lynn Kasdorf on steel guitar. Wear your dancing shoes!
Born and raised in Hawai’i and transplanted to the Washington D.C. area to pursue careers, the Aloha Boys—Glen Hirabayashi, Isaac Ho’opi’i and Irv Queja—met in 1996 while playing music for their children at Halau O ‘Aulani, a school of Hawai’ian culture, in the Washington, D.C. area. The Aloha Boys love to kanikapila, or play, an acoustic down-home, backyard-style Hawai’ian music, a style which includes everything from the very traditional to contemporary songs and styles. They all sing lead and backing vocals. Their voices blend in a nahenahe (soft pleasant) style.
Sabia Isa, who was born and raised in the cultures of the Polynesian and Micronesian Islands, formed this small entertainment group to share this culture. They are native of the South Pacific & have over 50 years of combined experience performing throughout the DC/VA/MD/PA area, Hawai’i, Guam & the Northern Mariana Islands. Come see this authentic Pacific Island entertainment, including the glamorous and wonderful dances of the beautiful islands of the Pacific Ocean.
Rachel began playing the uke in 1999, in preparation of Y2K, when we were all supposed to become nomads following a complete technology meltdown. Well, alright, that was silly. Still, it turned out to be a good decision. She started on a $25 Hilo soprano and first connected to the uke world via the founders of the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum. Rachel studied a bit with Joel Eckhaus (student of Roy Smeck) and wandered and has dabbled here and there learning to play. She has a penchant for Tin Pan Alley, Old Time music and the fancy old-school uke chord solo flourish. Favorite recent gigs include the Boston Ukulele Union Ukulele Melee, Silver Creek International Ukulele Carnival and A Prairie Home Companion. Rachel presently lives in Richmond, VA. If you want to know more about her….well that’s what Google is for. (Photo by Beth Walden.)
The Sweater Set—duo Maureen Andary and Sara Curtin–make music using an impressive variety of instruments, including the ukulele. BrightestYoungThings nominates them as “D.C.’s most endearing duo,” claiming their attraction to them in live performance was “instant and inescapable.” The Sweater Set won the 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011 Washington Area Music Awards for Best Contemporary Folk Duo and the 2013 Washington Area Music Award for Best Contemporary Folk Recording. They have toured throughout Ireland, the UK, & the Northeast & Southern United States, opened for Dar Williams, Aoife O’Donovan, and Michelle Shocked, served as Artists-in-Residence at the Strathmore Center for the Performing Arts, and partnered with the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities as Artist Fellows in 2015.