WAITIKI is a Boston-based band playing \"Exotic Tiki Entertainment from Polynesia and Beyond\" - like nobody else can! We perform \"Exotica\", a style of music that we loosely define as a mixture of jazz, Latin, and contemporary Asian sounds under a tropical umbrella. Exotica is sometimes referred to as \"tiki\", jungle tiki, lounge, or space-age-bachelor-pad music as well. WAITIKI is one of only a handful of bands performing live Exotica in the world.
Exotic Tiki Entertainment of Polynesia
WAITIKI got its start in the lounge scene with the exotic tiki fare of Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, and Les Baxter - the \"chiefs\" of the style, which peaked in the 1950s and 1960s. Accompanied by the swaying hips of their dancers, The WAITIKI Wahine, WAITIKI seeks to keep these flavors of Polynesia alive at events and clubs everywhere.
In 2005, WAITIKI decided to embrace the \"space-age bachelor pad\" sounds of the late great Juan Garcia Esquivel. Esquivel\'s knack for zany antics and wild instrumentation struck a dominant-7 chord with WAITIKI, who was already sacrificing live watermelons to the founder of lounge Exotica, Martin Denny.
Our plan was to bring back the big-band sounds of this legendary lounge lizard in the form of a 20-piece big band we call the WAITIKI Orchestrotica. After learning the original manuscripts for his works had been destroyed, we decided to transcribe 9 of our favorite songs (by ear!) and arrange them for the Orchestrotica. Esquivel\'s writing - rich and provocative on the inside, and frenetically frosted on the outside - proved to be a natural pairing for WAITIKI. The first WAITIKI Orchestrotica performance was March 4, 2005 at the Lizard Lounge (one of our favorite venues in Cambridge, MA) and will perform in Mexico in 2006.
What is Exotica & Tiki Music?
A unique blend of Polynesian drums, keyboard percussion instruments, bird-calls, and woodwinds, Exotica music got its name from Martin Denny\'s 1957 debut album entitled Exotica. Les Baxter\'s album, Ritual of the Savage is also considered one of the original records to feature which took one to faraway magical places that only existed in the minds of the listener.
Denny, Baxter, Yma Sumac, and others would become icons of the era, and helped spawn an amazing pop-cultural phenomenon which eventually spread worldwide. Armchaired with their exotic Exotica, Americans would soon be decorating their homes and lounges with flaming tiki torches, wooden Polynesian war statuettes, and anything else that seemed tiki.
WAITIKI performs traditional Exotica hits, original compositions, and anything else which permits frequent use of bird-calls, the guiro (chi-yah chih chih chi-yah chih chih) or the melodica. If you don\'t know what these things are, come see a show or buy our album, CHARRED MAMMAL FLESH: EXOTIC MUSIC FOR BBQ!