The Tsunami Wave Riders is a trop-rock band founded in September, 2005, by Ronnie Tsunami, Joanna 'Tropical Lady', and Keilani Wingard in Charlotte, NC. Their goal is to raise money for charities, because they believe everyone faces "tsunamis," big challenges in life that threaten to drown them. They have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities all around the country, such as the Alzheimer Society and the Boys and Girls Club, and they continue this mission of aloha today.
Originally from Hawaii, Ronnie loves blending Hawaiian instruments (ukuele, lap-steel guitar, gourds) with Country, Reggae and Rock rhythms. Mix in Joanna's passion for Caribbean steelpans, and you get a fun-loving island sound that gets you up and dancing.
In 2008, the Tsunami Wave Riders won "Single of the Year" at the Hawaii Music Awards with Island Dreamin', an original song written by lead singer and keyboardist Ronnie Tsunami. In 2008 and 2009, they won the Rising Star Award from GigMasters for booking the most gigs in the beach band category. In 2009, the Tsunami Wave Riders won "Best World Music Artist" at the Charlotte Music Awards, but they were also asked to compete in the Country category. They entered the 2011 Charlotte Music Awards competition as "Southern Wave" and ended up winning "Best Country Music Artist," and they also won the 2012 Texaco Country Showdown in Rock Hill, SC.
The band took a hiatus for several years when Ronnie became very ill, but Ronnie continued to write several albums worth of trop-rock songs. By 2016, Ronnie was fully recovered and started performing again when he created an island party show with the Aloha Island Hula Girls.
In 2017, Scott Nickerson, founder of the Parrot Heads organization, joined the Tsunami Wave Riders as a musician and as a business manager. Now the Tsunami Wave Riders are back to sharing the aloha and helping to raise money for charities. In fact, the Tsunami Wave Riders donate a portion of all their revenue, including song downloads, merchandise and performance fees, to charities.