The Ron Artis Family Band
If you are visiting Oahu, and going to the wonderful North shore, stop by the cute and charming village of Haleiwa, where there’s great shopping and food, and try and catch the most incredible gig you’ll ever see for FREE, played by extremely talented children and be healed by their music.
Imagine you are walking down the streets of a beautiful historical town from the Sugar plant days in Hawaii. The sun is shining, you’ve got the whole day to explore, and you hear the sound of really rockin live music coming from a colourful house. There are colourful surfboards everywhere and you enter the gallery, there is a bar with high chairs and loads of cd’s sorted in to different genres. And you are blinded by colours, and your ears are a booming with the sound of high skilled music coming from hand painted instruments, played by four KIDS dressed up in kooky bohemian outfits!
Here they are, the Ron Artis family band
I was so overwhelmed, I come in and there are all sorts of people just sitting around the bar watching smiling, and people looking around at the beautiful paintings and newspaper articles, and the band acknowledges me with smiles.
Not only does the boy singing, probably around 17-18 years old, have an INCREDIBLE voice, he plays the bass like a fingerslappin jazzmatazz and the drummer boy in the kooky shades is doing some amazing solo’s with a big grin on his face. The boy in the yellow T-shirt is playing the guitar as if he was blimmin’ Jimi Hendrix and I’ve got shivers down my spine! The girl at the keys, has got a sassy afro with a purple scarf tied around her head like Mark Knopfler and jam’s away with colourful sunglasses, and gigantic, colourful home-made computer data disk earrings and the prettiest face smiling at me.
Unfortunately cameras weren’t allowed in the gallery so I can’t show you exactly what I saw, but you can IMAGINE….
Their garden was filled with beautiful artworks, fountains and surfboards, and some of the kids were running around playing with each other. A kid dressed up in a smart shirt probably about 12 years old, deals with the costumers, and charms me with his intellect and shows me to the CD’s that match the different songs they play. Making me want to blow all my cash and buy them all.
I read on the wall, where there were some fun articles about their dad, Ron and his journey to find a place where he could express himself and live in the way he wanted, that he and his wonderful wife Victoria write their own fiction books for their kids to read, with stories they feel is important for them to hear with characters they want them to get to know, and ideas they want the kids to discover. What a brilliant idea!
The girl did a lovely slow song, that made me cry, her beautiful voice with the piano, and the boys swap instruments. Apparently they all play pretty much everything and they play live EVERYDAY! The whole family, and I believe they are a few looking at their T-shirts
play, paint and write. A teenage girl came in with a wooden parrot that she had just painted beautifully, wearing clothes covered with paint, and placed it among some of the other fantastic pieces. What really impressed me is that they record every note they play, so basically, you can buy the CD from the actual gig you witnessed. And they improvise alot, the girl improvised a whole verse to a little boy who was watching and playing with his pokemon cards. SO CUTE. Their little brother (about 7 years) came out wearing a Michael Jackson kinda hat, and started BREAKDANCING on the floor while his siblings were performing.
They all had really strong voices, but what was fascinating, was that they were all so different! The drumming one is a really good rapper, and the bassist sing kinda Ray Charles style, and the other one more Kurt Cobain / rocky/ jazzy voice, and the girl did some cute poppy tones, but also a really strong Punky style. Wonderful. Great harmonies too.
I was so emotional sitting there, like it was meant to be. And when they finished playing and people had left, I stayed just to look around the gallery, and got talking to some of the family. Victoria with her huge cool afro was so warm and cool and told me that they do custom painted Surfboards, and I said I loved Elvis, so she said, “Oh, we could do a surfboard with you and Elvis together wearing Aloha Shirts!” OH MY GOD. WHY OH WHY don’t I have loads of money!? HAHAHAHAH, it would be hilarious, but I’ll be honest, I’d LOVE to have that hanging on my wall.
The kids were sitting in the studio on the computers and hearing over some of the songs and mixing. And the business one was sorting CD’s and taking care of the money. They were so industrious as well, but so soulful and artistic. And the best of all, they looked like they were genuinely having SO much fun. Kind of wish I was a part of the family, wanting to hang out, sitting there thinking that maybe I could marry one of the sons and join the band.
Listening to my CD now. JOY. Joyful music that makes me realise, “WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD” it truly is.