I was star struck last Friday when I met the beautiful Hawaiian singer, Raiatea Helm. Though I probably had trouble putting two coherent sentences together, Raiatea gracious engaged me in conversation and even seemed to take interest in Go Visit Hawaii. At least, I’ll pretend that she did. 😉
As you may recall, I was in San Francisco last weekend to accept the Lonely Planet Travel Blog Award for Best Destination Blog. As soon as I knew I was coming to San Francisco, I checked to see who was going to be performing at the special Aloha Friday at Gordon Biersch in San Francisco and I was super excited to see that it was the Grammy Nominated, Raiatea Helm! I love her Hawaiian Blossom CD.
The San Francisco location of Gordon Biersch at 2 Harrison Street was a great setting for a completely packed house! Raiatea wasn’t due to perform until 8pm and we arrived just before 7pm and could hardly find a place to stand. It was clear that the crowd had a true love of the sounds from the islands. See all our photos from this event.
If you aren’t familiar with Raiatea Helm, then I hope you will be soon. Go here to listen to samples of her songs. She sings Hawaiian songs as well as jazz songs with a Hawaiian music flavor. Her voice is so pure and lovely and I really don’t know how it’s possible for her to seamlessly transition from a high note to a low note so artfully.
Raiatea grew up on the small Hawaiian island of Molokai, though she lives in Honolulu now. She has been playing the ukulele since the age of seven and has been singing since the age of 15. You can read her biography and her blog. Note that she performed at the Presidential Inaugural Ball just this past January. What an honor!
I must thank my friends Nathan Kam and Michael Ni for introducing me to Raiatea Helm. Nathan gave me the Hawaiian Blossom CD last year and now it’s time for me to pay it forward. So, I’ll be giving away a copy of Hawaiian Blossom to a lucky reader. To enter, just comment on this post. I’ll randomly select one winner. (For e-mail subscribers, you must visit the site and comment on this specific post.) Enter your comment by noon ET on Monday, April 6, 2009 to be eligible. Only one comment per person, please.