Updated 7/1/2013

Come to Waikiki for The WAITIKI 7 and support Hawaii Youth Symphony!

Tickets go on sale to the General Public starting August 12, 2013.



waitiki7_12jkt_front_v5Just $40 bucks gets you our ultra-limited-edition high-fidelity vinyl record… all purchasers will receive the files digitally for immediate pleasure… we are not selling the digital files separate from the vinyl.

You will love DJ Tabuzak’s remix of Similau, and our only recording of “Quiet Village,” performed live in Hawaii, for exotica fans who knew Mr. Denny and Mr. Lyman personally! And for all you cocktail fanatics, the album features Todd Maul’s beloved “JRT” cocktail, fresh from Clio Restaurant. You must get this album!!!!


From egg-shaped plush chairs or towering cabinets carved like totem poles, hi-fi sound once poured over the conversation pits and cocktail hours of yesteryear. The warm tone and stop-and-listen vibe continue with exotica innovators WAITIKI 7’s latest venture, WAITIKI in Hi-Fi. The vinyl-only release of new material finally gives listeners—die-hard exotica connoisseurs, record collectors, or the merely tiki-curious—a chance to sit back and savor the group’s fresh look at a midcentury music in clear, rich analog… Read more here

The WAITIKI 7 play “Mapuana” at Stella Blues Cafe, Kihei

Featuring Jim Benoit, vibraphone. May 13, 2011

The WAITIKI 7 Win ‘Adult Contemporary Album of the Year’ in the HMAs

You voted & bestowed an unbelievable honor on us! Thanks to all our loyal supporters, who voted us #1 in the Adult Contemporary Album category in this year’s Hawaii Music Awards, organized by the Music Foundation of Hawaii. The complete winners’ list is online at http://hawaiimusicawards.com.

Special congratulations to those who helped make the album a success, particularly our friends:

  • Corey Schreppel (mixing & mastering engineer)
  • Sam Gambino (artwork)
  • Jason Goodman (photography)
  • Brother Cleve (session supervision)
  • Matt Beaudoin / Q-Division (recording engineer)
  • Brittany Lambertus & Jenifer Shepherd / Rock Paper Scissors
  • Josh Ellman & Mark Rini / Groov Marketing & Consulting
  • Neal Izumi (videographer)

WAITIKI Cocktail Contest Winners!

Spindrift Suz (a.k.a. Suzanne Long) and Hawaiian Marmalade (a.k.a. Sam Treadway) were voted First Prize winners of our first-ever WAITIKI Cocktail Contest for their potions, the Waitiki Edison and the Stormy Edison, respectively! Check out their recipes at our cocktail blog, The Cocktail Journal. Thanks to all who entered—better luck next time!

New Partnership Program Available

WAITIKI is seeking reputable companies looking to build their brands and create awareness among our crowd.  We’ll help you reach them by customizing a sponsorship package that suits your budget, meets your marketing objectives and exposes your company, product or service to our fans through a combination of traditional, non-traditional, grass-roots and viral marketing.  Many sponsorship opportunities and partnership deliverables available. For more information, check out our Partnership page!

Announcing: ‘WAITIKI Connects!’
We’re re-branding our outreach program formerly known as Exotica in Education as WAITIKI Connects! to emphasize the proactive, outward, and cross-disciplinary nature of our programs in education and community service. Since 2004, We have assisted in the development and practice of arts-based curricula that challenges youth to explore, create, and think critically about issues related to music’s role in developing personae and culture, as well as performing pro bono for public schools and at non-profits like the Boston Children’s Museum. In 2011, WAITIKI will continue to connect with its community with its Performance Match initiative: for each ticketed event produced, WAITIKI will also do a school or community performance. It is our belief that all children should have equal access to high quality performing arts, and through Performance Match, we will work to bring our music to them.


Back in October  we made exotica history, when we SOARED to the top of the charts—nailing down the #1 spot on JazzWeek World and #2 on CMJ Jazz with our sophomore release, New Sounds of Exotica. But that’s not all. Simultaneously, last year’s album Adventures in Paradise returned to the charts at #4. These charts track airplay in major markets throughout North America—on independent, public, triple-A, collegiate, and satellite stations; and on programs for jazz, world, specialty, exotica, talk, and beyond—and The WAITIKI 7 is the only modern exotica group to receive such widespread airplay!Special kudos to our radio team at Groov for all the hard work they put in for us. And of course to all of you for listening, requesting, and spreading the word about our music.

The album (CD or digital download) is now available at WAITIKI.com, Waitiki7.com, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, and Napster!

New Promo Trailer!

Big Mahalos to Neal Izumi for shooting this footage and putting it together for us!

Wong’s Tahitian Milk Punch Now At Clio (Boston)

The Tahitian Milk Punch is now on the dinner cocktail list at Clio! Styled after the 1711 Mary Rockett formula, Randy’s recipe infuses Batavia Arrack with fresh pineapple, Tahitian vanilla beans, ginger, and lime. It was formerly called the Tahitian Lana’i Milk Punch and tied for 2nd place in the 2nd Annual Dole Cocktail Contest which drew contestants nationwide, held at Ohana: Luau At The Lake in Lake George, NY. So what are you waiting for? Head on down to Clio (in the Eliot Hotel, corner of Mass. and Comm. avenues) and order one today! And greet bar manager Todd Maul with the Handshake of Okonkuluku—he’s a wizard with tiki cocktails you’ll be sure to love.

Video: Harold Chang & The WAITIKI 7

Our “Sounds of Exotica Lounge” show back in April was a huge success, in large part to a collaboration with Harold Chang (former percussionist of the original Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman groups). Uncle Harold, as we call him, took some blazing solos on bongos, congas, bird calls—hallmarks of exotica that he and Augie Colon created back in the ’50s. Check out these two videos of Uncle Harold performing and soloing with us:

“Cave of Uldo” at Fresh Café

“Rendezvous in Okonkuluku” at Fresh Café

Our Chee-Hoo Fizz Cocktail Makes It To Paris

Belated congratulations and mahalos are in store for master bartender, mixology historian, and and TED presenter John Gertsen. John—who has championed tiki mixology in Boston through weekly Tiki Sundays at his bar Drink—traveled to Paris last month for the 2010 international Cocktails Spirits expo. John spoke about the Boston cocktail revival, the success of Drink, and the rise of home mixologists in America; to which he demo’d two cocktails, one of which was Randy Wong’s Chee-Hoo Fizz, a tiki-style fizz based on the classic Japanese cocktail. Our sincere thanks to John for including a tiki drink in his presentation!

Check out excerpts of John’s presentation online at Viddler:

The Chee-Hoo Fizz segment starts around 12:15, but really you should watch the whole thing!

More Praise for New Sounds of Exotica

“If WAITIKI 7 doesn’t appear on every episode of Hawaii Five-O or score a residency in Waikiki, I’ll be disappointed.”—Giant Robot #66

“The septet’s gorgeous melodies do more than renew a bygone genre. Its radiant brand of exotica crosses into Latin jazz with just as much poise and dexterity, often melding the two.”—ALARM Magazine

“Four Stars” —Chuck Campbell, Scripps Howard News Service

Video: Hawaii Music Award Presentation

Music Foundation of Hawai’i sent executive producer Johnny Kai to present The WAITIKI 7 with an award for Exotica Album of the Year for “Adventures in Paradise,” which we released last August. As a token of our appreciation, we performed the venerable hit “Quiet Village.”

See us getting the award, and hear Quiet Village:

Introducing WAITIKI’s Kahiki Serenaders: Vintage ’20s-’30s Hawaiian & Hapa-Haole Music Meets The Sound of Exotica.

THE KAHIKI SERENADERS are the newest group to be added to our award-winning and internationally-acclaimed artist roster. The Kahiki Serenaders bring back the music of Hawaii’s golden age, when transpacific steamships docked at Aloha Tower and passengers were greeted by the Boat Day wahine of downtown Honolulu.

Paying deep respect to the classic hapa-haole tunes (songs with primarily English lyrics, set to Hawaiian melodies and jazz harmonies) of Sol Hoopii, Andrew Aiona, and early Gabby Pahinui—as well as songs by R. Alex Anderson, Harry Owens, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and others—The Kahiki Serenaders set sail on their own course with a stellar line-up: Greg Paré, vibes; Rusty Scott, piano; Keala Kaumeheiwa, upright bass; and Drank Sumatra, drums.

Check them out and “Like” them on their Facebook Page! An internet-only album is planned, so stay tuned…

“Loaded with virtuoso talent” —Mark Holston, JAZZIZ

The Waitiki 7’s Adventures in Paradise is featured in “Prelude” section of the print edition of JAZZIZ Winter 2010!

JAZZIZ LOGOThe Waitiki 7, a born-in-Honolulu ensemble loaded with virtuoso talent, updates the classic exotica mood on Adventures in Paradise (Pass Out)—a 13-track excursion that pays respect to the venerable music’s roots while charting its own distinctive course . . . The contributions of woodwind player Tim Mayer, trombonist Mike Dease and violinist Helen Liu provide Waitiki 7 with substantial improvisiational firepower. Laka, the Hawaiian goddess of song and dance, should be smiling.—Mark Holston

    Download the full review as a PDF

“This is the band to beat”

—Nate Chinen, of the NY Times, on his blog

Nate Chinen, who was born and raised in Honolulu, is no stranger to exotica or its musicians—he studied drums with Harold Chang, gigged with many of the Islands’ finest jazzers, and wrote remembrances of Arthur Lyman when Lyman passed away. He’s now an esteemed jazz critic, known for his writings for the New York Times, JazzTimes, and Village Voice.

the band, which also includes pianist Zaccai Curtis and percussionist Lopaka Colon, is on the right track with Adventures in Paradise released last month. The music reflects a firm grounding in Hawaiian culture, and a real grasp of this genre’s practices. (Colon’s father was the revered percussionist Augie Colon, a former member of Denny’s group; he appears on that recording of “Quiet Village.”) … If there’s room for a postmillennial exotica revival, this is the band to beat.

“Intoxicating” — Peter Hund, GoodNewMusic.com

Good New Music logo[The Waitiki 7] is an exotica jam band that updates the genre by augmenting the requisite vibraphone with plenty of sax and violin and often employing dead-serious jazz improvisation.

“Looking backward while moving forward” — Audiophile Audition

Audiophile Audition published a review yesterday of Adventures in Paradise. AA focuses on recordings that would be of interest to audiophiles, collectors, surround sound (music-related), and hi-res disc format—that they even considered us for inclusion is a great testament to our production values; not to mention a ★★★★ review!

Audiophile Audition logoThose who imagine the music made famous by Martin Denny and others has grown fallow or inert will think differently after sitting back and listening . . .

Adventures in Paradise is modeled upon the tranquil and relaxing exotica blueprint but The Waitiki 7 has built a different kind of tiki structure, assisted in measure by the members’ disparate training, experience and education. A realization of experimentation and advancement within a precisely coded genre gives Adventures in Paradise a context that places it in a unique position: looking backward while moving forward. —Doug Simpson

A fantastic review from Mother Jones magazine:

Mother Jones - Sept. 2009 Issue
Fire up the tiki torches. Break out the umbrella drinks. The debut of Hawaii’s Waitiki 7 harks back a half-century to the golden age of exotica, when lounge-music giants like Martin Denny walked the Earth . . . A cover of jazz great Lee Morgan’s “Totem Pole” showcases a mesmerizing sax-trumpet [sic] dialogue, while the sleek violin of “Mood Indigo” would please Duke Ellington himself . . . —
Jon Young, Sept. 2009