Brittni Paiva, a 22-year-old ukulele virtuoso from Hawaii, will make a one-night-only Southern California appearance tomorrow at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena. Showtime is 8 p.m. with a $15 ticket.
Paiva, one of the world’s preeminent female ukulele players, is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist whose sound and concept are influenced by jazz, rock, flamenco, and classical music as well as world music from Brazil, Japan, and elsewhere. Ukulele, guitar, electric bass, piano and drums are her instruments of choice, yet when it comes to the ukulele she invests as much soulfulness as skill.
“Brittni brings a whole new spirit to the music and to the instrument: pop sensibilities in a smooth jazz format,” said John Schroeter, music producer and author of “Between the Strings: The Secret Lives of Guitars.” “It’s got a new kind of energy—it’s infectious.”
Over the past six years, the Hilo native has self-produced three award-winning CDs. She took home the prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Most Promising Artist of the Year in 2005 in support of her debut release, “Brittni x 3.” Her sophomore release, Hear, won Ukulele Album of the Year at the Hawaii Music Awards, otherwise known as Hawaii’s People’s Choice Awards in 2006.
Her third album in as many years, simply titled, “Brittni,” won Ukulele Album of the Year in the Hawaii Music Awards in 2007 and was nominated for two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts.
2009 marked the launch her fourth CD, “Four Strings: The Fire Within,” in a national campaign. The album contains upbeat, soulful interpretations of her most passionate work in world music. Charles Michael Brotman, Hawaii’s first Grammy Award recipient, co-produced the album.
“The songs on this CD are my favorites,” Paiva commented. “I chose them because they reflect the change in me, showing the increased complexity of my craft. I see music as a canvas and my arrangements are the brush strokes and warm colors that create the picture.”
Paiva is well-known in world music circles with almost two million hits on YouTube. She began her music career at age four trained in classical piano through the Suzuki method. Seven years later, her grandfather gave her an ukulele. For ten years, the uke has been Paiva’s instrument of choice, though she also plays guitar, bass, piano, and drums.
Paiva performs frequently in Hawaii, and along the Pacific coast of the mainland. She has represented the Big Island Visitors Bureau in Canada and is expanding her touring schedule to include different regions throughout the U.S. and the world.
The Coffee Gallery Backstage is the premier intimate live music venue in the Pasadena area, founded by legendary promoter Bob Stane. The venue is located at 2029 N. Lake Ave. in Altadena, For information or reservations, call (626) 798-6236 or visit www.coffeegallery.com.