Randy Drake is known for handling a vast array of musical styles and is greatly enjoying the opportunities that Ohana’s Bongolele® and Shakerlele® bring to his drum set/percussion set ups. Randy recently recorded and toured Japan with Daniel Ho and Japanese guitarist Tak Matsumoto, where the Bongolele® was a centerpiece of his drum kit setup . He has performed and recorded with Dan Siegel, Bill Watrous, John Novello, San Gabriel Seven, Uncle Festive, and Peabo Bryson. Randy Drake is also a Ph.D. Candidate in ethnomusicology and involved in the Doctoral Emphasis Program in Feminist Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. He has worked as a Teaching Associate and Assistant for Music and Popular Culture in North America, World Music, and for the Feminist Studies course Women, Society, and Culture. He has presented papers at events such as the 2014, 2015 and 2016 conferences of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), the 2011 Southern California and Hawaii Chapter of SEM, and the Critical Sexualities Graduate Symposia at UCSB. His research interests include the intersections of race, class, age, and gender (particularly trans identity) in several genres of music as well as sound studies and popular music. Randy continues to utilize both the Bongolele® and Shakerlele® on a regular basis performing, recording, and doing workshops for Friends of Ohana artists Daniel Ho and Jennifer Leitham.
"I was amazed the first time I heard the Bongolele®! Because I enjoy ukulele players immensely, the Bongolele® allowed me the opportunity to sit in anywhere with some of my favorite ukulele artists, Daniel Ho and Jennifer Leitham. They were both very open to experimenting with the sounds this instrument adds to their ensembles. Then, when Ohana and Daniel Ho decided to add the Shakerlele® to their roster of instruments, I was thrilled. I love the idea of adding these two instruments to my drum set arsenal of sounds. They compliment the lower end of a drum set, but they’re also very portable, exactly like an ukulele. Ohana is doing something very unique with these two instruments, and I am honored to be a part of the family!
- Randy Drake