The Hapa Hillbillies


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The Hapa Hillbillies were formed to explore music in the tradition of "hapa haole" songs. "Hapa Haole" comes from Hawaiian slang for half ("hapa") and the slightly derogatory term "haole" describing people who are not from the islands and it refers to the musical stew cooked up when traditional Hawaiian bands touring the mainland around 1915 met American jazz musicians. The blend is a beguiling mix of English and Hawaiian words, traditional vocal harmonies, Hawaiian instruments but played with jazz stylings. Hot and Sweet! The Hapa Hillbillies take the sound farther by spicing it up with a little country and add a old time hillbilly flourish. The band features Ben Bonham, Dennis Williams, Rick Hulett, Ronnie Ontiveros, Larry Wyatt & Kerry Williams and if it looks like they are having fun, that's because they are. Their new CD of vintage Hawaiian swing, country and hot jazz, I've Never Been to Hawaii is now available.


Band Members Who Play Mya-Moe Ukuleles
Ben Bonham


Larry Wyatt


Rick Hulett


Kerry Williams