Michael Barretto
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Michael Barretto

Band Blues Singer/Songwriter


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Sometimes I Go (2000)
Live at Wangaratta (2001)
Oz! with the Bullock Island Blues Band (2003)
Solo, Live (2004)

With Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues Band:
Sacred Island (Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues) (1998)
Hanapepe Dream (2001)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Hawaii-born Michael Barretto has been pullin' on guitar strings since the age of six. He grew up with the Blues, Country, Rock, Hawaiian, Calypso, Salsa... all that. His first “gig” at 6 sparked a love for performing that still burns deep.

Michael has played professionally since 1972 and in 1980 met bluesman Taj Mahal. “The Hula Blues Band” was formed soon after and Michael has played with Taj ever since. The “Hula Blues” has recorded twice; “Sacred Island” released in 1998, and “Hanapepe Dream” released in March 2001. Michael has performed with the "Hula Blues Band" and solo across the USA, Australia and Europe at venues including Summerfest in Milwaukee,WI; The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Iowa; and in concert and festivals in over 20 states and countries. He has headlined solo and with bands in Germany at "SommerFest" and Australia at the TAC Wangaratta Festival of Jazz.

Michael is a pioneer of a genre we call "Island Blues" - a hibrid of the blues and world music ... a kind of Hawaiian swing. He plays guitar, banjo, ukulele, and bass. and has performed on the same stage as Jesse Colin Young, Corey Harris, Henry Butler, Brian Kramer in Europe, Smokin’ Joe Kubek and of course Taj Mahal. He performs solo and with bands behind him in concert, at festivals, and pubs.

Michael's CD releases include "Sometimes I Go" in 2000, "Live at Wang0aratta" in 2001, "Oz" (recorded in Australia), "OZ" in 2003, and "Solo Live" in 2004. The music is getting airplay on over 1200 radio stations in the USA and worldwide including Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia and the USA. He is in the studio again preparing his next release.