Seminars: Friday, April 12
Wild West Tiki in the Valley of Fire w/ Mike Skinner
Outlaws, burning sands, and legends of lost gold, Scottsdale is “The West’s Most Western Town”. Grab yer firewater and saddle-up for an adventure thru the Southwest Pacific with your story teller Tumbleweed Tiki. Hear his tall tales about John Wayne, America’s favorite cowboy, and his Hollywood movie premiere at Trader Vic’s, living with Pele in the Valley of Fire (the desert Polynesian lifestyle), and how Tommy Wong brought Don the Beachcomber to the Wild West. Yippie Ki Yay!
Mike Skinner lives in Denver, Colorado where he is a civil engineer, but his passion is researching and sharing Polynesian Pop culture stories. He is a Tiki Oasis veteran having presented popular symposiums including “SeaWorld, San Diego’s 1964 Exotic Masterpiece”, “Waltah Clarke and the World of Aloha Fashion”, and the story of “AHOY! Exploring Mid-Century Nautical Tiki”. | website
EXOTICA: The story of the sound of Tiki, on a platter w/Brother Cleve
Join Brother Cleve, a Founding Father of The Cocktail Nation, as he takes you on a journey tracing the roots and history of Exotica music. Built from a Cinematic concept in the late 1940’s, where composer Les Baxter blended 20th Century orchestral music with traditional Hawaiian sounds and “Jungle Jazz” a la Duke Ellington, Exotica evolved into the mid century sound of Tiki Bars and backyard Luau parties around the US. By the mid 80’s it was rediscovered by post-punk rockers and thrift store devotees, eventually joining with Cocktail Revival of the mid 90’s. Brother Cleve lived it through all and is here to tell you the history, first hand.
A founding father of The Cocktail Nation, Brother Cleve had his first Scorpion Bowl in 1972 and never looked back. Cleve has produced recordings by Waitiki, Mr Ho’s Orchestrotica, and Brother Cleve’s Lush Orchestra. He roamed the planet with Combustible Edison from 1994-1999 and has dj’d throughout the U.S., Europe, India, Mexico, the French West Indies, Moscow, the Greek Islands, and other exotic locations. Brother Cleve lived in Esquivel’s spare bedroom periodically between 1995-2000. | website
Hotel Valley Ho Magical History Tour
Designed by architect Edward Varney and Associates, Valley Ho is considered one of the best-preserved mid-century-modern hotels in the country. Enjoy a 90-minute walking tour of the buildings and grounds while exploring the hotel’s classic design elements. Did you know that Hotel Valley Ho was a true Hollywood hideaway? In its heyday, host to Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Natalie Wood and Zsa Zsa Gabor, among others!
Tiki’s Big Bang: Planter’s Punch w/Jeff “BeachBum” Berry
Planter’s Punch is Tiki’s big bang: most of the great Tiki drinks are based on it, from the Mai Tai to the Zombie. It also has a 300 year history that includes Caribbean pirates, British nobles, the novelist Graham Greene, and of course the godfather of Tiki himself, Don The Beachcomber. Join Beachbum Berry for three centuries of rum history!
One of Imbibe magazine’s “25 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities of the Past Century,” Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is the author of seven award-winning books on Tiki drinks and the owner of Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, a New Orleans bar-restaurant, which Esquire and Playboy named one of the USA’s best bars. Food & Wine calls Jeff “one of the world’s leading rum experts,” while the New York Times cites him as “the Indiana Jones of Tiki drinks.” Jeff has been profiled in the Washington Post, USA Today, and Wine Enthusiast magazine. He’s also been featured on PBS Television and National Public Radio. | website
Adventureland, Trader Sam, and two shots of Rum w/Trader Brandon
Join Trader Brandon as he takes you on a whirlwind tour of Trader Sam’s history, starting with Walt himself. We’ll talk about the creation of the Jungle Cruise, the amazing people who brought it to life, and we’ll find out how Trader Sam went from the jungles head salesman to the owner of his very own bar. Who better than Trader Brandon to share these stories, and the stories of his adventures, than Trader Sam’s head decorator?
Trader Brandon, aka Brandon Kleyla, has been involved in the field of entertainment since he was seven. He began in local theater, moving on to television and feature films, ultimately landing in the world of themed entertainment. He has been involved with over 50 theme park projects, but it’s his work in Tiki that he is best known for. Brandon is the head decorator and author for both Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. He is currently hard at work on his next top secret theme park project and just published volume one of The Field Guide to Tiki Decorating. | website
The Good, the Bad, and the Tiki w/Marshall Shore
Hop aboard the Marshall Shore bus for hip historian tour on what makes the Valley of the Sun a unique destination. Explore unique architecture, music, Tiki-Polynesian culture, and movie history.
Marshall Shore, a.k.a. Arizona’s Hip Historian, is librarian turned hipstorian. When moving to Arizona 18 years ago, he often heard the cry “there is no history here,” but that was simply not true. Following his passion for uncovering the weird, the wonderful, and the obscure treasures from our past, Shore celebrates those semi-forgotten people, places, and events that have made us who we are today. He has developed an almost cult-like following for sharing history through trivia, tours, and lectures. | website