Brazilian Experience

HPR-2 - Saturdays 4-6pm


About The Host:

A Honolulu native, Sandy Tsukiyama grew up in a musical household. She discovered Spanish language and Music Theory at her alma mater, Roosevelt High School and received a BA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. At UH she continued in Spanish and began studying Brazilian Portuguese. Fascinated by bossa novas on radio jazz programs, she embarked on a quest to further investigate the music of Brazil. Her first vocal gigs were with Brazilian-inspired group, “Ohta-San’s New Thing” and the Ebbtides, in 1975. She began studying voice with Marilyn Kim and was backup singer and percussionist for Nohelani Cypriano. In 1980, recipient of a Rotary Post-Graduate Fellowship for International Understanding, she studied Brazilian folk music traditions and voice at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Escola de Música. During her three-year stay there, she became immersed in the vibrant musical culture of the city. Fortunate to perform backup for Marku Ribas and Robertinho do Recife, along with numerous, well-known artists, Sandy appeared at various venues from posh piano bars such as Chiko’s Bar, Rive Gauche, and national TV broadcasts on Rede Globo. She was house vocalist for two years in the piano bar at Restaurante Antonino in the Lagoa District, where Lisa Ono, who later became Japan’s primary bossa nova exponent, would occasionally sit in. At the “Todos os Cantos” music festival, in Curitiba, Paraná, in 1981, she was accompanied by the yet unknown, Eliane Elias. While married to percussionist Carlinhos “Pandeiro de Ouro” de Oliveira, she befriended countless household names on the Brazilian music scene.

Since returning home in 1983, Sandy has maintained her passion for Latin American musical culture through singing in flamenco, salsa, mariachi, Brazilian & Latin jazz groups. Community work includes teaching, interpretation and translation of Spanish and Portuguese languages. Other performances include singing for salsa great Adalberto Santiago, Puerto Rican cuatro legend Yomo Toro, Martin Nievera with the Honolulu Symphony Pops, as part of The Company Singers in three consecutive productions of “A Merry Christmas With Friends and Nabors," and “Beehive” at Manoa Valley Theatre. Since 2002, Sandy has been a regular backup singer for Yvonne Elliman. She recently retired from a 28-year teaching career that included General Music, Japanese, Spanish, and Special Education at the secondary level in Honolulu public schools.  She raises many animals, enjoys yarnwork, cooking, dancing, living green, and occasionally gives presentations on the Portuguese language influence on Pidgin English.

Do Braza Hawai'i

MarceloD2 concert info

Daniel Skaf

UH Manoa Dept. of Languages & Literature of Europe & the Americas

Von Baron's website

Pão de Queijo recipe

Contact Gui Alves - DeRose Method

Andrea de Oliveira Quiming's Facebook Page

Contact Daniel Skaf
Community Page on Facebook, for Brazilians

Click here for Marcia Campbell's website.

Claus and Vanessa's webpage

For information on AFS Hawai'i, click here.
AFS Hawai'i's email is:

For information about Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American & Iberian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa go to:

Sandy Tsukiyama