Born into a musically talented family from the small rural island of Moloka‘i, off the coast of Maui, Raiatea’s first love was hula from the age of three. Through hula, she developed a deep respect and appreciation for the Hawaiian language and art of interpreting a mele (lyrics) through rhythmic movements, which has translated into her deeply-felt song interpretations in her musical performances.
Following the multiple awards and Grammy recognition for her second CD, Raiatea Helm received invitations from venues throughout Asia, as well as U.S. stages from New York to San Francisco, as well as The White House.
She is now recognized as one of Hawai‘i’s premier female vocalists and a keeper of the Hawaiian falsetto tradition of the early to mid-20th century. Accompanying herself on ‘ukulele, Raiatea captures the attention of audiences throughout her native islands, interpreting traditional Hawaiian song with the mastery and control of a jazz vocalist. At the same time, jazz selections have started to find their way into her repertoire. From her rendition of jazz favorite “At Last” (Sweet & Lovely) to her collaboration with Grammy-winning saxophonist Matt Catingub on the 2006 recording of “My Romance,” Raiatea has begun to establish herself as an accomplished jazz vocalist.
In 2011, Raiatea was awarded a national honor --a Fellowship in Music Award from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF), the first Hawaiian artist ever to receive such recognition from this national organization dedicated to supporting the best indigenous artists in the United States.
Raiatea is committed to her statewide community in Hawaiʻi, appearing in public and private schools regularly to support music programs, reading programs, and to serve as an inspiration to young kids everywhere to stay in school and pursue their dreams. She also consistently appears on behalf of numerous charitable organizations in Hawai‘i. http://www.raiateahelm.com/
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