sparkling voice enthralls her global audience as she traverse the history of Hawaiian musical expression. Raiatea has distinguished herself as a courageous "new traditionalist" of Hawaiian music. She delights in retrieving Hawaiian musical gems from earlier eras and sharing them with new generations in a new century. "Hawaiian Club" enables Raiatea to embrace the Hawaiian music styling of the late 1950's and early 1960's that influenced her parents 'ohana
, including her revered uncle George Jarrett Helm.
The lineage of the "Hawaiian Club" sound traces back to the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1903, Sonny Cunha incorporated the latest ragtime rhythms from the mainland United States into his orchestra's repertoire to create the hapa haole music genre at the new Moana Hotel on Waikiki Beach.
By 1920, Johnny Noble's Moana Hotel Orchestra arranged traditional Hawaiian music to trendy tempos that brought the young dancing crowd of Honolulu, as well as the visitors, thronging to the Moana Hotel Lounge and Lanai. Recognizable rhythms encouraged couples to take to the dance floor for their favorite Hawaiian mele.
For the next three decades, innovative arrangements of Hawaiian music interpreted the latest popular dance crazes from the mainland United States. With the advent of stereo recordings in the late 1950's and 1960's, the esoteric "Cocktail / Lounge / Exotica / Tiki" sound surfaced, with an accent on softer percussion. The post-Statehood 1960's also brought explosive growth to Hawai'i. As the visitor industry grew, so did the demand for Hawai'i's music. Every resort destination hotel, restaurant, lounge, and bar featured Hawaiian musicians performing live Hawaiian music. As the Elvis era gave way to Beatle mania, Hawaiian music was again influences by Western culture.
A hybrid fashion took hold in Hawai'i that featured understated percussion like the sizzle of brushes on a snare drum and "sock" cymbal, the splash of a 'crush' cymbal, the use of maracas or other subtle pulsating instruments, centered behind the bass, guitar, steel guitar, vibes, and piano. The absence of a bass kick drum even enabled hula dancers to perform. This "Hawaiian Club" sound blossomed during the early to mid-1960s.
Raiatea Helm now takes us on a musical voyage to "Hawaiian Club"