Kim Sueoka – Artistic Director • Vocals • ‘Ukulele • Hula ‘ili‘ili
Kim Sueoka is passionate about creating musical insights into the human experience. She is an active performer of Hawaiian historical music, early music, chamber music, and new compositions. She currently performs with Lumina Women’s Ensemble and The First Readings Project, and is a teaching artist with COMPAS and Kairos Alive. She is an Artist-in-Residence at Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education and a soloist, section leader and vocal coach at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Minneapolis.
In 2011, Kim received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant to research, perform, and record Wai, a collection of Hawaiian songs on the theme of fresh water. She received a McKnight Performing Artist Fellowship finalist award in 2007 and a Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership grant for research and performance in Hawaiian music in 2005.
Originally from Koloa, Kaua‘i, she presently resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she has developed great respect for snow shovels and mittens. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance at the University of Evansville under the instruction of Joseph Hopkins, and a Master of Music degree at the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Lawrence Weller. She has studied Hawaiian chant and hula with Amy Ku‘uleialoha Stillman and the late Kumu Pohaku Nishimitsu. Kim is a former musician and teaching artist with The Rose Ensemble.
David Burk – Guitar • ‘Ukulele • Lap Steel • Vocals
Starting on the guitar at an early age and long fascinated by the endless palette of sounds found throughout the world, David Burk has endeavored to learn to play various stringed instruments, among them those of the Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Latin, African, Carribean, and American musical traditions. Born in Augusta, GA and residing in Minneapolis, MN since 1990, David has performed with the Rose Ensemble, Voices of Sepharad, Robayat, Josh Nelson, Guvenc Burk Orchestra, Silver Swan Chamber Ensemble, Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble, Georges Lammam Arabic Orchestra, Vanessa Paloma, Sattar, Ethnic Dance Theatre, BraSamba, Shangoya, Marimba Africa, Lorraine Klaasen, Keith Secola, Voice of Liberia, Saharan Nights, Fuego Flamenco, RaiAction, and The Melismatics, and others.
Maintaining a full private lesson studio of guitar, bass, banjo, and mandolin students, he also conducts ukulele workshops and has written instructional columns for Guitar Player magazine and TrueFire.com. He has composed and arranged music for Mixed Blood Theatre and for a number of commercials, movies and television programs.
David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations at the University of Minnesota and has received grants from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. He continues his studies of Arabic music with Bassam Saba and has studied Hawaiian Kī Ho‘alu (slack key guitar), with George Kahumoku.
Rahn Yanes – Bass • Vocals
Playing bass since age 11, classically-trained Rahn Yanes has had the opportunity to explore a wide range of musical genres and styles. As a symphony bassist, Rahn got his first job at age 16 with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, and played up and down the San Joaquin Valley of California for 5 years before moving to Monterey and playing up and down the Central Coast for 5 more years. Rahn then moved to Mexico City, where he played for 3 years with Mexico’s National Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal Bass, performing for numerous national tours, festivals and television broadcasts.
After returning to California, Rahn became Principal Bass of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra for 9 years and taught bass at California State University, Fresno. Eventually seeking change for his young family, Rahn moved to his wife’s home state of Minnesota, where he began freelancing in the Twin Cities, becoming Principal Bass of the Wayzata Symphony Orchestra and exploring various outlets as a bassist, such as playing in the rock band L.A. Cowboy, the jazz-rock horn band Brass Menagerie, The Good News Big Band, and the tango bands Mandragora Tango and Mateo’s Rogue Tango.
Rahn has recently accompanied VocalEssence, National Lutheran Choir, Michael W. Smith, Tony Sandler of “Sandler and Young,” Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy, and Guys and Dolls, Cinderella, and Anything Goes at The Ordway Theater. He has also performed at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center and toured Europe with America’s Youth in Concert.
Shahzore Shah – Vocals
Shahzore Shah, a tenor with the vocal ensemble, Cantus, has always enjoyed learning and performing a wide variety of genres as a soloist and ensemble singer. He finds new music and fusing music from different traditions especially meaningful. He holds degrees in vocal performance, music education and French from Lawrence University and Conservatory of Music.
In the summers of 1999 and 2000, Shahzore volunteered at the École Ste. Trinité (Holy Trinity School) in Port-au-Prince and Léogane, Haiti. As a teacher and performer there, he solidified his interest in making music as often as possible. He also taught in public schools in the midwest and sang freelance in New York before moving back to the Twin Cities in 2005 to perform with Cantus.
Shahzore’s interest in performing Hawaiian music began when he received coaching from Kim Sueoka in 2006 for a piece Cantus performed. He is thrilled to be singing more of that repertoire now, especially with the talented musicians of the Lau Hawaiian Collective. At home, you will likely find Shahzore gardening or cooking, as he is always on the lookout for delicious food.
Andrew Kane – Vocals
Andrew Kane obtained his Bachelor of Music in voice performance from Augsburg College in 2010. He has since sung with the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, the Minnesota Chorale, and the Minnesota Opera, as well as local early music ensembles including Glorious Revolution Baroque, Consortium Carissimi, and The Bach Society of Minnesota. Andrew currently sings with The Rose Ensemble and The Mirandola Ensemble. He has also served as a section leader at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral since 2010, and has performed choral works touring Europe under Helmuth Rilling and the Bachakademie.