THE HANZ ARAKI BAND
Hanz Araki: flutes, whistles, vocals
Colleen Raney: bodhrán, vocals
Genta Fukue: guitar
Elly Marshall: fiddle
An accomplished singer and flute player, Portland, Maine’s Hanz Araki has been prominent in the Irish music community in the United States and Japan for more than 2 decades. In that time he has released 10 award-winning albums; played countless festival stages including the Vancouver Folk Fest, Milwaukee Irish Fest, Austin Celtic Music Festival, and Celtic Connections; toured internationally in Ireland, The United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Canada, and Mexico, and collaborated with a number of renowned musicians within and outside of the Celtic music genre.
Vocalist Colleen Raney has been referred to as “among the best in her genre,” (Irish Music Magazine) and “one of America’s best traditional singers” (Tradconnect). This comes as little surprise given her dedication to the craft of performing and preserving the vibrant song tradition of Ireland. Raney is compelled by the beauty of traditional Irish songs and has committed herself to honoring the music not just with her voice, but in her tireless research of the origins, history, and story behind each piece before singing a single note. Recently on tour with Irish-American supergroup Solas, Colleen has delighted audiences from Ireland to the United States to Japan. Raney sings with an enchanting yet unaffected style allowing the listener to enjoy her selection of songs whether they are familiar or more obscure.
Guitarist and composer Genta Fukue has spent the vast majority of his career as an Irish accompanist as well as a solo performer. While largely self-taught, he studied guitar abroad in the UK and in Ireland before returning to his native Okayama, Japan where he has built a reputation as of the nation’s premiere guitarists. Between a busy touring schedule all across Japan with groups Tabula Rasa, The Hanz Araki Trio and others, Fukue finds time to contribute to film and television scores, while maintaining an active solo career.
A staple of the Portland, Maine Irish music scene, fiddler Elly Marshall began playing in Vermont, studying with Sarah Blair. This, along with years of playing for dances, has lead to a strong and clear style of playing exemplified by articulate bowing and nuanced ornamentation.