Mango features Joanie Collins and Carl Ray Villaverde. They have been playing music together since they met on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1997. They're a diverse and extraordinary combination of talents and experiences, which combined with the right chemistry, brings out the best of both worlds. Hapa Haole Hulas was honored by being entered in the 2008 Hawaii Music Awards in the Contemporary Hawaiin category.
Mango left the Big Island of Hawaii after September 11th, 2001 to play in Park City, Utah during the Winter Olympics. The following year they found themselves in Santa Barbara, CA and Mango has been bringing the sweetness of Aloha to folks in Southern California for the past five years.
Joanie is an accomplished concert violinist and brings her enchanting voice to Mango. She believes and participates in community projects and gives private lessons for violin, viola, piano and music composition to a handful of students in between her busy schedule.
Carl Ray Villaverde
is where Mango all began, in the late '70's with Kenneth Makuakane. He is a lead vocalist, guitarist and one of Hawaii's finest ukulele players. He also plays slack key guitar, bass and drums. He was taught to play Hawaiian steel guitar by world renowned Jerry Byrd. Carl Ray's talent has allowed him to travel and share his gift of music on the U.S. mainland, Japan and Hawaii's Islands throughout his thirty year professional music career. A Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominee, Carl Ray won first place each year as a child for his ukulele playing in the Merrie Monarch Festival. He is a gifted composer/arranger and blends all the sounds for Mango's recordings.
Since 1972 Carl Ray has been performing at Hawaii's finest Hotels and resorts beginning at the age of 18 at the Nani Loa Hotel as a drummer for Al Lopaka. On Maui he performed regularly at the Kapalua Bay Hotel and shared the stage with Cecilio of "C & K" at the Sheraton's Discovery Room. On his return to the Big Island, Carl Ray and his brother Thomas teamed up at the Petroglyph Bar at the Royal Waikoloan Hotel. In 1998, Carl Ray and Joanie brought their worlds together to create an all new sound for Mango. When the Four Seasons Hualalai opened, Mango was chosen to provide the ambiance for the fine dining restaurant, Pahu`ia.
Has been playing the violin and piano since she was very young, learning ear training at the dinner table and the life history of great composers at Girl Scout meetings from her concert violinist parents. Joanie's father, Richard B. Collins, is featured on "Hi`ilawe" (a song that is connected to the fiddle to those from Waipio Valley) and "Here in this Enchanted Place", playing a one of a kind nine string Violin D'Amore, made by Jim Wimmer.
Joanie plays music as diverse and open to interpretation as her talents and background. She has performed as concert mistress with the Maui Symphony Orchestra. She and her white (Zeta) electric violin are known all over the Hawaiian Islands. She is the founder of P.A.C.E.S., the Performing Arts and Cultural Exchange Studios on the Big Island of Hawaii and was the first violinist of the String Beings, P.A.C.E.S.' resident string quartet.
Joanie began and taught the strings program at the Lokahi Waldorf School in Kealakekua in 1995, starting twenty children on violins brought to Hawai`i from China, and bringing guest teachers and artists into the classrooms as part of their Hawaiian tour. She also taught violin, piano, and ballet at P.A.C.E.S. and was the artistic director until 2001, when she left the islands.
Joanie has also performed regularly with the Magic Strings, the Kona Chamber Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony and the Salt Lake City Symphony in the classical genre. She's also performed with Hawaiians Unlimited, Island Rhapsody, and the all woman rock and roll band, Tsunami! in the pop/rock arena.
She is very interested in the role that the violin played in Hawaiian music before the introduction of the steel guitar and electricity. Charles E. King and Sam Lia, two of Hawai`is prolific songwriters, featured the violin prominently in their music. King "Kawika" Kalakaua, also known as the Merrie Monarch, was also a violinist.
Joanie has had the privilege of performing with great entertainers such as Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick, Kekuhi Kanahele, Keali'I Reichel, and Eugene Fodor.
Carl and Joanie invite you to taste the fruit of Mango.
"Let us bring the islands to you with the best music of old and new Hawaii!"