The Tsunami Wave Riders are back! Ronnie Tsunami and Scott Nickerson have teamed up to form this island-style Trop Rock band where they spread the PEACE, LOVE & ALOHA!
If you’re an official Parrot Head, you have Scott Nickerson to thank. In 1989 Scott contacted Jimmy Buffett’s people to ask about starting a fan club. But, not just any fan club. A fan club with a mission to help others. No one, not even Jimmy Buffett, knew how big this would become. Now, official Parrot Head Club members have raised over 46.5 Million dollars and volunteered over 3.8 Million hours to charity. No music fan group has ever changed the world like Parrot Heads.
In 2015, Jimmy Buffett invited Scott Nickerson to join him on stage playing the drums at the annual Parrot Head convention. Jimmy Buffett introduced Scott Nickerson as “the guy who started the whole thing” just before launching into the Parrot Head anthem “Margaritaville” to be filmed for the subsequent Parrot Head Documentary released in early 2017.
If you read the whole story (you can find it here), you know Scott suffered a stroke at an early age. Subsequently, he lost music as his career so he could focus on therapy to fully recover, and also raise his
family. When the documentary was released, Scott had one goal: to get the word out that he wanted to get back to his passion of playing music.
In comes Ronnie Tsunami. Ronnie along with his wife, Joanna, enjoyed a successful music career as a Trop Rock band with a Hawaiian twist (Ronnie is originally from Honolulu, Hawaii). Their original song, Island Dreamin’, won “Single of the Year” at the 2008 Hawaii Music Awards, and the band went on to win “Best World Music Artist” and “Best Country Music Artist” at the Charlotte Music Awards, and “Top Beach Band in North America” two years in a row.
However, in 2014, Ronnie came down with a life-threatening illness, which included Ronnie’s eyes shaking every 3-5 minutes causing him to constantly feel dizzy and off-balance. As a result, he could no longer focus or even stay awake at times. In addition, his joints were so inflamed he had to walk with a cane. He ended up quitting his job and stopped playing music professionally since he couldn’t see his keyboard very well or dance anymore.
Ronnie’s music career couldn’t continue, but his passion for music kept him thriving. During the two years he was home-bound, Ronnie learned to play the ukulele (he didn’t need his sight to play the instrument) and continued to write songs…his Aloha spirit guiding him. Then he stumbled upon a plant-based diet program. It wasn’t a diet to lose weight, but a healthy living plan. After 4 weeks on a whole foods, plant-based diet (eliminating all meat and dairy,) Ronnie could walk again without a cane. Just 6 weeks after changing his diet, he regained his eyesight, and is now feeling healthy and enthusiastic for the life he once thought was ending way too soon.
When Joanna watched the 2016 Parrot Head Documentary, she was moved by Scott Nickerson’s story because it was so similar to her husband Ronnie’s story. Both men overcame life-threatening illnesses, are musicians, and have a passion for island-style music. She reached out to Scott and set up a meeting. As they learned about each others’ musical talents and past medical hurdles, it seemed they were brought together by fate.
The New Tsunami Wave Riders
Tsunami Wave Riders is more than just a band name. Ronnie expresses the deeper meaning as “Everyone experiences huge challenges in life, much like a tsunami with waves threatening to drown you, so you have to learn how to ride these waves.”
After sharing their stories, Ronnie knew Scott was the right fit with the band. Scott had also overcome a “tsunami” in life and more importantly came out with a happy state of mind, which Ronnie calls “living aloha style.”
Living Aloha Style is the underlying message of the band. Ronnie Tsunami and ‘Shaka Scott’ Nickerson, along with their fellow band members Joanna ‘Tropical Lady’ and Angela Leilani Jackson, the ‘Redneck Hawaiian,’ believe in spreading the joy of the aloha spirit which includes raising money for charity. When the Tsunami Wave Riders first started, they incorporated charity into their performances whenever possible, and the new Tsunami Wave Riders are even more committed to helping people and communities.
Their signature show is called “Rock Around the Islands,” a virtual music tour from Key West to the Caribbean, Cancun to Hawaii, Tahiti and beyond. Ronnie’s original island songs weave his message of aloha and helping others into the lyrics focusing on the advice “to be happy” as well as the importance of loving and supporting your family and friends. Ronnie explains that “aloha means to joyfully share the breath of life,” and their performances are designed to bring happiness with upbeat, feel-good island songs, music and dancing. But, the ultimate goal is for fans to leave their shows feeling so good they want to spread the good vibes, they want to “share the aloha.”
Hitting the ground running, you’ll find the Tsunami Wave Riders making their way down to Key West for Meeting of the Minds with performances along the way.
- Monday, Oct. 30th at the original Pit Stop Party at the Caribbean Club in Key Largo, FL at 3pm.
- Monday, Oct. 30th at Pit Stop Party Too! at Boondocks Bar & Grill on Ramrod Key, FL at 8pm.
- Tuesday, Oct. 31st at Trop Rockin’ Magazine’s Tuesday on the Island Party at the Sunset Pier, Key West from 4pm – 5pm.
- Wednesday, Nov. 1st hosted by Catamaran Concerts “Rock Around the Islands” concert at the San Carlos Institute, Key West from 1pm-3pm.
This whirl wind collaboration between Ronnie and Scott is just a few months in the making. Their stories are inspiring, their spirit is infectious and together, the Tsunami Wave Riders ride again.