The exciting and uplifting Hawaiian singer Paula Fuga makes her Ashkenaz debut with her longtime collaborators in the Mike Love Trio. Whether just singing and strumming her ukulele, or backed by the Trio’s full reggae-world beats, Fuga’s unique voice and vision stand out. She combines her lyrics with music rooted in Hawaiian folk tradition, reggae, world, and Polynesian sounds that have brought international attention since the release of her first album, “Lilikoi,” in 2006. More recently Fuga has opened Jack Johnson’s stateside tours, and he and Ziggy Marley sang on her most recent recording: Johnson dueted on the hit “Country Road,” and Marley appeared on a new arrangement of his father Bob Marley’s “High Tide or Low Tide.” Fuga’s latest recording, “Misery’s End,” has received rave reviews, and the title song is one of the highlights of her current concert.
Her longtime musical partner, singer-guitarist Mike Love (of bands such as Dubkonscious), and his Trio are backing her as she performs at festivals from Oregon’s Northwest World Reggae Festival to Southern California’s Doheny Surf Festival. Tonight’s show is a rare chance to see Fuga in a full concert.
Fuga comes from a humble beginning, surrounded by the blues and gospel music of Louisiana, before becoming rooted and matured in the cultural richness and diversity of Hawaii (she lives on the north shore of Oahu) and eventually touring internationally and to both American coasts. Along the way she has chosen to serve as a musical ambassador for her Hawaiian culture. She uses her talent as an instrument to help bring about positive social change within her islands and beyond: performing at benefit concerts for charter schools, instilling the Hawaiian culture in the generations to come, and generally being a beacon of the meditative and healing powers of her people. Fuga is the recipient of a Na Hoku Hano Hano Award, Hawaii’s highest and most prestigious musical honor.
“My life is a miracle,” Fuga said in an interview for a Hawaiian publication. “I was homeless on the beach by the time I was 5 years old. I lived in a car, in all kinds of weird, crazy situations. But I truly believed that good things would happen to me if I just kept being a good person… I know how miraculous it is for me to be where I am. And this is just the beginning for me; I’m just getting started. And I’m so grateful that Jack (Johnson) likes having me around and sees something in me that’s good. I feel so lucky.”
Inspiring, uplifting, and playfully powerful, Saritah’s live shows are colorful celebrations of life and harmony. A festival favorite, Saritah loves to connect with the audience, and her vocals deliver lyrical affirmations, inspirations, and observations with a captivating blend of attitude and grace. She draws from her most recent CD, “Ancient Forward,” a strong and diverse collection of songs that move from dancehall to roots reggae to acoustic soul, ska and more. She is also unveiling selections from her next, soon-to-be-released CD, recorded in the Bay Area after her first West Coast tour last summer.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, the country of her mother’s heritage, Saritah grew up by the Indian Ocean in Perth, Australia. Now based in Melbourne, she has built a loyal fan base around the world since the release of her debut album, “Gratitude,” in 2004. A traveler from the time she was a few months old, she has always had a global perspective and has been exposed to and influenced by a diversity of music and culture from around the world. “I make music to reconnect people with their hearts,” Saritah says, “to remind people of their power, their beauty, their divinity. I totally believe we chose to be in these times here on earth. We all are co-creators of our world and our reality.”