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Skinny Dip into the Exotic with Don Tiki

Don Tiki
Don Tiki
Perry Coma, Dancer/Vocalist Violetta Beretta and Fluid Floyd

“Exotica” is a style of music pioneered in the late 50’s by artists like Martin Denny and Les Baxter giving birth to a style called “Tiki”.  For people outside the islands – the style painted a picture of what a tropical paradise could be.  Cocktails decorated with tiny umbrellas inside ceramic tiki mugs were paired with breezy jazz marked with an occasional bird call.

Founded in the late 90’s - Don Tiki has carried on the tradition of the late Martin Denny.  Their stage show mixes their unique take on Exotica with dancing hula girl lamps, south pacific drumming, and the vocals of Starr Kalahiki.  Five albums and multiple international tours have established them as one of the most recognizable acts in the genre.

We sat down with founders Lloyd "Fluid Floyd” Kandell, Kit “Perry Coma" Ebersbach, and dancer Violetta Beretta to explore the history, and culture behind Don Tiki. 

   Don Tiki performs tomorrow through Thursday at the Blue Note Hawai‘i.

Watch: An in-flight feature produced for Hawaiian Airlines by Laird Christianson Advertising, with the late Delmar DeWilde. 

Nick Yee’s passion for music developed at an early age, as he collected jazz and rock records pulled from dusty locations while growing up in both Southern California and Honolulu. In college he started DJing around Honolulu, playing Jazz and Bossa Nova sets at various lounges and clubs under the name dj mr.nick. He started to incorporate Downtempo, House and Breaks into his sets as his popularity grew, eventually getting DJ residences at different Chinatown locations. To this day, he is a fixture in the Honolulu underground club scene, where his live sets are famous for being able to link musical and cultural boundaries, starting mellow and building the audience into a frenzy while steering free of mainstream clichés.
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