The Soul Barkada is Elson’s backup band for live performances. “Barkada” is a word from the Philippine language of Tagalog meaning “a group of friends.” The Soul Barkada’s collective sound is influenced by artists from Stevie Wonder to the Isley Brothers, The Brand New Heavies to Jamiroquai and John Legend to The Neptunes, in addition to various jazz, latin, rock, pop and blues influences. The band is made entirely of Elson’s most musically talented friends and acquaintances who are a part of his personal network which was built up over the course of several years (no ads or auditions were made for this band) and deserve to be recognized in their own right.
Jay Arbolario Drums
Keith Dasalla Percussion
Elson met Keith right after the band’s performance at FPAC 2004, where Keith mentioned that he was a percussionist. Elson figured that information would be handy someday. Born in Hawaii, Keith has had extensive experience playing in Polynesian and Latin bands/ensembles.
Tim Franks Trumpet
Josh Gurney Bass
August Schmid Guitar
Joining the Soul Barkada in the Summer of 2009, August filled the long-vacant guitarist spot in the band. A Hollywood, CA native, he digs his amps and anything that has to do with his Swiss heritage.
Lisa Ulanday Background Vocals
Lisa used to run into Elson back in the mid-1990s when they were members of separate choirs in the same church. Eventually they became part of the same circle of friends and karaoke became a favorite pastime for them. Though she never sang with a band before, Elson asked her, “Wanna sing backup for my band?” and Lisa responded, “I’m down!”
Louie Ulanday Background Vocals
Another one of Elson’s karaoke-crazy friends, Louie recently moved up the “corporate ladder” of the Soul Barkada, starting out as the Camcorder Guy, then becoming Live Sound Engineer and now pairing up with Lisa in the background vocal section. Later, Louie hopes to become Bass Player, and eventually replace Elson as the lead vocalist (just kidding). Louie and Lisa not only harmonize wonderfully onstage, but offstage as well — he and Lisa wed in September 2006. Awwwww.
Warunchai Vathanasin Trombone