The Washington Center for the Performing Arts will play host to the captivating ukulele marvel, Taimane, this spring. Performing melodies ranging from Bach to rock while infusing tribal hymns and flamenco undertones, this Hawaiian artist is sure to amaze audience members of every age.

Taimane posing in red costume
Having grown up in Hawaii, Taimane infuses sounds from the island she calls home while incorporating modern melodies. Photo credit: Taimane

The spirit that’s portrayed onstage is contagious and clearly the work of a very skilled musician. Taimane has been honing her showmanship and stagecraft since she was a young girl living on the Hawaiian Islands. At just 13-years-old, she garnered the interest of Don Ho, who later became her mentor. Alongside this legendary performer, Taimane became a part of his distinguished variety show onstage at the Waikiki Beachcomber where her desire to connect with audiences began to reach new heights.

The word “taimane” mean diamond in Samoan. This perfectly reflects the different facets of her whimsical nature while she’s on stages around the world. Whether Taimane is delicately performing romantic melodies or ripping through iconic rock songs by artists such as Led Zeppelin, she has the ability to combine a huge range of genres and create a sound that’s completely unique. While Taimane often plays familiar melodies, she’s also a talented composer. Her combined fierce nature with the grace of a dancer surprises her audience and continues to grow her following.

As this will be Taimane’s first time gracing the stage of The Washington Center, the staff at the theater are all abuzz with excitement. “A colleague shared her name with me a couple of years ago,” states Jill Barnes, executive director at The Washington Center.  While Jill was programming for the 2018-19 shows, she carefully combed through performers in search of unique additions to the lineup. After reviewing Taimane’s videos and listening to her music, Jill quickly realized that Taimane would be an amazing addition to the season.

Taimaine performing on stage with crowd in back
Taimane has toured around the world exciting audience members of huge proportions. Photo courtesy: Taimane

“This past January I had the chance to see her on two separate occasions in New York City,” adds Jill. “She is incredibly engaging with the audience as she shares stories about her music and cultural traditions. Also, her hands move so fast on that ukulele, Taimane has some serious skills!”

Taimane is part of The Washington Center’s 2018-19 Education Programming for student audiences. “This is a really great program and we are always thrilled when we are able to have our mainstage artists participate in outreach in the community,” expresses Jill. “This year we have had incredible programs including Shoshana Bean, Six Appeal, National Geographic photographer Thomas Peschak and Ira Glass. We are so happy that Taimane has been added to that list and will soon inspire our young audience members in Thurston County. Additionally, this program offers $10 day of student rush tickets as well as an annual scholarship.”

Through her magical ability to create unique sounds that captivate audience members, Taimane has garnered a worldwide following through her masterful performances. With a combined total of over 100,000 followers on her Facebook and Instagram channels, as well as over 25,000 subscribers on YouTube, Taimane is a true rising star across the globe. “Having already seen Taimane perform myself and knowing the talent that she possesses, I’m thrilled to introduce her to Olympia,” exclaims Jill. “I’m excited for my audience to hear her breadth of music and enjoy her technical skills and extraordinary stage presence. She is truly a special performer who lights up the stage.”

Taimane bending backwards on stage
Each performance given by Taimane is unique as she fills the entire stage with life and excitement with the grace of a dancer. Photo courtesy: Taimane

After taking to the stage in Olympia, Taimane will continue touring in various far off cities including Prague, Czech Republic, Graz, Austria and Paris, France.

For those wishing to see Taimane live, there is just a one-day opportunity to catch her performance. The show will take place on Thursday May 16 at 7:30 p.m. for all audiences. There will be a private matinee performance as part of the Education Programming for students. School groups interested in attending can contact info@washingtoncenter.org. To learn more about her performing style and flare and to watch videos from past performances, visit the Taimane website. To purchase tickets, visit The Washington Center for the Performing Arts website or call the Box Office at 360-753-8586.

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