I enjoy oldies from the Motown era, The Temptations, The Delphonics, Aretha Franklin, Staple Singers, Natalie Cole, and Diana Ross. I also enjoy the styles of Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Rait, Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, Sheryl Crow, Grace Potter, Jill Scott, Sade, and Lisa Fischer. The Hawaiian music that I grew up listening to on the islands was: Aunty Genoa Keawe, Lena Machado, Marlene Sai, Melveen Leed, Hui O Hana, Uncle Gabby Pahinui, Olomana, and Loyal Garner.
Coming from a large Polynesian family (I am the youngest of fifteen children), music naturally has been a big part of my family traditions and cultural heritage. Singing in the home and at church formed the solid foundation of my passion for music. To date, there are twelve left handed musicians in my immediate and extended ohana. It's pretty cool playing upside down I tell you.
Traditional Hawaiian music is making its way back and surviving against other genres of popular music in its home state of Hawai'i and worldwide. Performing on Pakele Live Show in Honolulu for two shows was a great and humbling experience. To connect with the locals, my ohana at home, it just renewed my spirit and became full circle, felt so honorable for me. Personally my goal is to help preserve and promote music of the Hawaiian people. This intention is a deep and reflective passion that I've come to pursue and delight in.
I started playing locally in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-90's, performing with various Kumu Hula Directors, Halaus, and dance performers. What got me interested in getting back to music was my four year old daughter, Felila Ku'upualeionaona, who wanted to learn hula. Fifteen years later in 2009, Felila graduated from her Papa 'Uniki Studies Program as Olapa Dancer, under the direction of Kumu Hula Shawna Alapa'i in Marin California. Kumu Shawna's lineage of Hula Masters comes from Aunty Mae Kamamalu Klein of Kaneohe and Aunty Maiki Aiu Lake of Honolulu, Hawai'i.
Over the last eighteen years, I've been a member of three different established bands in the Bay Area, performing as both lead and backup vocalist and playing ukulele and keyboard. These bands ranged in size from two to six members and played to audiences ranging in size from small private parties to gigs and festivals with more than twenty thousand people in attendance. During that time, I played well in excess of a thousand gigs in many different venues. Subsequently, several other members of these bands and I have all gone on to develop solo careers.
A sampling of most recent to former locale is listed below:
Five Star Aloha Gala and Kulia I Ka Nu'u Awards Event at the St. Westin Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Honored guests included Chef Alan Wong, Brothers Cazimero, and Alan Ikawa. These are just a few of the big named guests at the event who have contributed outstanding service and aloha to the local communities and businesses both here on the mainland and in Hawai'i.
Meeting Senator Daniel Inouye at Roys Fusion Cuisine in San Francisco was a real honor and treat, along with Congress Woman Colleen Hanubasa and Former Mayor Muliufi Hannemann.
A special weekend performance at Napa Valley Opera House with a live Radio Show telecast from Old Waikiki, in connection to the Wine Country Ukelele Festival as an Instructor for Beginning Ukelele lovers and a guest featured artist on main stage.
Lead vocalist and ukulele player in a five-member band accompanying Rick No'eau Smith and his Halau Na Mamo No'eau (Hawaiian dance group) on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship traveling from Kauai to Maui, Hilo, and Kona.
Vocalist and piano player for "Na Mele Welo," a hula presentation with Halau Na Pua O Ka La'akea, Nalani Olds, at the Marin Veteran's Auditorium.
As part of a group in previous years and more recently, Faith has opened for the Brothers Cazimero, Amy Gilliom & Willie K, Ledward Kaapana, Cyril Pahinui and Hapa, Makaha Sons, Napalapalai, to name a few.
Hawaii Visitors' Bureau promotional conference presented at the Palace, Sheraton, Alta Mira, and Marriot hotels in San Francisco.