Po'okela Street Band
Po'okela Street Band a.k.a "PSB" has been electrifying crowds for the last sixteen years in Seattle. The band started out in the mid 90's in the Northwest, uniquely fusing Jamaican reggae and Hawaiian Island style rhythms to form a musical style known as "Jawaiian," a musical movement, developed in the early 90's in Hawaii. As the band continued to evolve musically, they now are a high energy pop reggae group that continues to produce a contagious fusion of Top 40, R&B, pop, rock, rap and country with a heavy reggae back beat. Their unique style defies the idea of categorizing them into a single genre of music, giving PSB widespread appeal and capturing an array of musical influences. Their versatility, tight vocal harmonies and energetic stage presence makes for a musical experience second to none.
In Seattle, a melting pot of divers musical genre, PSB has taken its place among the elite reggae and worldbeat bands in the Pacific Northwest gaining the the respect of club owners and promoters. Enough so, that they have gained the trust and respect of club owners and promoters around town to use PSB as an opening act on shows for national reggae recording artists such as Black Uhuru, Big Mountain, Eek-a-Mouse, Burning Spear, Wailing Souls, Toots & the Maytals, and Hawaii recording artists Fiji, Kapena, Natural Vibrations, Ten Feet, The Mana'o Company and Ho'Aikane.
The Hawaiian translation of Po'okela is Champion or Superior, a fitting name as the band always strives to better themselves musically and excel as artists. If you have ever visited Pike Place Market, an open fruit and fish market in downtown Seattle, you will find 'Street Performers' who entertain hundreds of shoppers and tourists daily. Their artistic expression is passionately displayed through their performances. PSB admires the intense enthusiasm of these street performers and wanted their name to reflect this same fervor . . . hence the name "Po'okela Street Band".
The Po'okela Street Band consists of ex-patriates from Hawaii, Tonga & Guam, along with native Washingtonian islanders of heart, who share a love of music and moving people with their brand of music. Below is a short biography of each member of the PSB ohana.
Ry Akana is the front-man for the Po'okela Street Band. The originator and front man of PSB, he has been performing professionally for 30+ years. Along with the others in the group, Ry is instrumental in all writing, composing and the arrangement of all PSB music. He definitely appreciates all musical genres. His musical influences stem from from "grass roots" Hawaiian music and artists such as Hawaiian slack-key icon "Pops" Gabby Pahinui, the Sons of Hawai'i and Olomana. His appreciation for contemporary music came from Hawaiian national recording artists Cecilio & Kapono, and Kalapana. The passion for Reggae music was influenced by, none other than the Godfather of reggae music himself, Bob Marley.
Jye Paet, lead guitarist and vocals, is a native from Yona, Guam. He and his family transplanted to the Pacific Northwest in 2008. A talented musician, Jye brings a fresh new musical direction to the PSB sound. He is a talented singer-songwriter, coupled with his musicianship, provides much needed depth to the PSB music experience. Jye's muiscal styles are influenced by his love of Jazz, Blues and Rhythm & Blues, Rock and Reggae. He has been inspired ever since he was a young boy, by all the guitar players in Guam and Hawaii that he was taught by, or had the occassion to jam with.
Ulise is a long time friend of Po'okela Street Band. We first played with Ulise in Hawaii at the 1996 Jam at the Shell. It wasn't until he moved to Seattle in 2012, when we got to collaborate more with him. A recording artist from the Polynesian island of Tonga. He is a multi-talented musician and can play any instrument at a very high level of professionalism. He has recorded numerous hit singles, songs such as "Love is all we need", "We wanna go back" and "Rastaman Live".
Jack Baker, a.k.a "Daddy Boy", is percussionist and backing vocals with the PSB Makers of Music. Jack comes from a very large, musical Hawaiian family. He learned traditional Hawaiian music as a youngster, and developed his love for all types of music as he got older. He is one the foundation setters in the band, and synchronizes with the drummer to create a rhythm beat unique to the PSB sound.
Shawn Woolford is the newest addition tho the PSB family, coming to Sea-Town by way of Guam. This Chamorro boy is a talented musician! Plays all the instruments (Drums, bass, guitar and keyboards ... as well as providing vocal reinforcement while playing the drums. He also writes songs and arranges music. Shawn is a integral component to the PSB ohana.