Top Notch Gay Cruise Entertainment

Aquafest provides incredible value with an exceptional entertainment program that has featured the hottest gay and lesbian performers. Below are some of our previous guest stars on Aquafest cruises:

Michael Kessler

Aquafest DJ

Michael Kessler is originally from Anchorage, Alaska and has been making people happy with his musical talent and keen ear as a DJ for over 25 years. During his time in Alaska, Michael was known throughout Anchorage and other parts of the state. He was hired many times to travel in extreme weather just to bring good music to out of reach places. Michael left Alaska and moved to Houston in 1998 and has entertained at several clubs including his last stop at "Rich's". In 2002, he was asked to partner with Aquafest Cruises and bring his musical entertainment skills onto the high seas. Since then, Michael has been in command of the dance floor on more than 18 cruises and continues to participate on the annual Aquafest Halloween cruise.

Jacinta

Jacinta began her nomadic path toward stardom at an early age. Born to a Russian father who fled communism and who survived years in Indonesian POW camps, Jacinta's parents eventually found solace in the U.S. They settled in Portland, Oregon just in time to welcome their talented new daughter but were soon off again to make Australia their new home. That is where Jacinta was raised and began her lifelong love of music.

Jacinta's Australian mother was described as "the girl with the smile in her voice," and it certainly rubbed off. Jacinta had love affairs with everything music. Her piano roots and love of electronic music lead her to keyboards, sequencers and samplers. Arranging 'chunks' of samples in a digital environment lead to Jacinta's signature sound—something electronic, thoughtful and 'chunky.' She started to write, took up the saxophone and guitar and performed in bands from Rock to R&B.

With the talents of her mom and the courage of her father, Jacinta's first band Maiden Voyage toured relentlessly for 3 years along the East Coast of Australia, from the Outback to the tropical north of Darwin and Cairns. Jacinta paid her dues, learning how to do sound, lighting, promoting and booking the five-woman band.

Building on their success, she put her own Band together to pursue her original music and one day woke up with her band mates in India!

Six of only eleven Australians in all of Hyderabad, they all soon experienced tough times. Extreme chaos permeated their way of life—it was devastating and joyful all at once. Indian music began to infuse Jacinta's writing and influenced her EP "Sandalwood ~ Under the Influence," which later went on to hit the Australian Independent chart and be licensed for TV and film. In the meantime, though, getting out of India became their top priority—one that proved to be very difficult.

Wanted 'dead' by their booking agent, it took months for Jacinta to smuggle four band members out of the country. She and her remaining mate eventually escaped back to Australia via Singapore. From this ordeal, Jacinta learned to appreciate the fragility of life. "I believe we all have a special God given purpose in life, and that is what we truly yearn to be and to live," says Jacinta.

Upon her return to Australia, Jacinta also returned to her first musical love, the piano and her 'dark hours' acoustic style was conceived. She also began writing for the TV hit series "The Saddle Club" where her hit single "Wonderland" became a hit on both the Australian and Asian mainstream charts, and 13 of her songs can still be heard on the Discovery Channel, "The Saddle Club" albums and DVD's and on Mattel's "Barbie's Summer Pool Party" album.

Coming to Austin TX U.S. for the SXSW Music Conference, Jacinta began establishing herself in the American market. Thanks to her old mate and new-found business partner Barnsey, Jacinta's revitalized label Chunky Music released her electronic/dance epic "Smokescreen"

Texas Shout Magazine claims Jacinta "she could very well be Australia's finest export to date...possessing a demanding stage presence and writing memorable songs."

Released in late 2005, Jacinta's title single from her "Sunshine" Compilation became her first Top 20 hit on the Billboard Club Chart. "Destination" was released in August 2006 and became her second Billboard hit. It went to #5 on the DJ Times Chart, hit the Global Dance Traxx Chart and was in the Top 10 on many record pool charts across the world. In rotation on terrestrial radio across America, "Destination" was Jacinta's debut on the Billboard Dance Radio Chart. "Destination" was also spun heavily by XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.

In support of these projects, Jacinta performs regularly across the U.S., having performed in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix and New England.

Jacinta's latest release "Can't Keep it a Secret" is an instant hit. It debuted as the #1 Breakout Song on the Billboard Dance Chart and peaked at # 7 on the 07/07/07 chart. Already in heavy rotation on radio, "Secret" was co written by Jacinta, Tony Moran and Warren Rigg. DJ Ron of DanceMusic.About.com predicts that this uplifting song will be the Pride anthem of the summer, and Keyboard Magazine declares "all dance diva's are not created equal"

"Can't Keep it a Secret" is the third single off Jacinta's upcoming album "Back to Go."

Discography

  • CAN'T KEEP IT A SECRET - The Secret Remixes, release July 2007
  • CAN'T KEEP IT A SECRET, release June 5 2007 DESTINATION, 10 remixes on mega single, May 2006
  • DESTINATION: CLUB CUTZ, 6 remixes and acapellas, July 2006
  • SUNSHINE, 9 remixes on mega single, October 2005
  • SMOKESCREEN, 2005
  • FLY singles, 2001
  • SANDALWOOD ~ UNDER THE INFLUENCE, 2000
  • DEDICATED TO A STRANGER, 1996

Hedda Lettuce

Mistress of Ceremonies

Hedda Lettuce is a six-time "HX" drag queen of the year award winner. She has performed at many cabaret venues including "Caroline's on the Broadway," "Fez," "The Showroom at East of Eight" and the "Chelsea Clearview Movie Theater" where she hosts the "Clearview Classic Movie Night." She is also the creator of the popular drag country singing trio - The "Dixie Chixs With Dixs."

Hedda's screen credits include "To Wong Foo," "Flawless," with Robert Dinero, "The Look," with Carol Alt and a handful of independent films. She has appeared in popular television shows; "Sex in the City," "Oprah" and recently made an appearance on "20/20" with Barbara Walters. Hedda's Theater experience includes the off-Broadway show; "Servicemen," directed by Sean Mathias and "Sleeping With Straight Men," starring Hedda Lettuce and John Waters favorite actress; Mink Stole. Hedda has also produced many off-Broadway shows including; "Sex, Lies and Duct Tape; Hedda's Christmas Show," "Lettuce Rejoice" and her standup tour deforce; "Miss Lettuce If You're Nasty!"

In addition she has hosted high profile charity events such as "Broadway Bares," "The HX Awards" and has performed on stage with Joy Behar, Joan Rivers, Caroline Rhea and in 1999 with Madonna for the "MTV Music Awards." Hedda just finished a 4-month run of her one woman show; "Meet the Lettuce Family" in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Hedda just appeared as a special guest on Project Runway. View Hedda's Website

Eric Himan

Headline Performer

Already sharing the stage with folks like Cyndi Lauper, Duncan Shiek and India Arie, Eric is quickly becoming a household name. His first self-titled cd, got great reviews in Penn State local press. In 2002 his second cd I Go On received attention for the song, No Urgency which was requested to be on the HRC's Love Rocks compilation alongside Melissa Etheridge, Christina Aguilera, Dixie Chicks and many more musical heavyweights.

In 2003, All For Show launched him into LGBT media with reviews in national publications like Out Magazine, Genre, and Instinct. He also was featured on the front page of gay.com that ended up flooding his email for months after with folks interested in the music. In 2005 he released Dark Horse to even more press in and out of the LGBT press, including being listed in the 2005 OUT 100 list!

In 2006, Everywhere All At Once contained the song, Bartender, that became an instant hit with listeners and "Thanks" ended up at number 1 for five weeks on Sirius Radio's OutQ station. He released a five song EP There's Gotta Be Something that became the first music video I've ever done. The video spent six weeks at the 1 spot on the Click List, MTV LOGO's request countdown.

In 2007, He started writing his newest release, Resonate. Bringing his life out in the forefront, with references to my family, friends, and those I met on the road, the songs just seemed to write themselves. 2008's Resonate is sure to bring light on songs such as "Little Boy Blue", "For Me", and "Protest Song" reaching new folks and touring even further than before. - Click Here.

Reina

Headline Performer

Taking center stage by storm, Robbins Entertainment/BMG recording artist, Reina hasn't skipped a beat since her debut blockbuster; "Find Another Woman" hit the airwaves back in1999. In just a few weeks this song catapulted to #2 on Billboard's Dance Chart.

In 2003 her hit song "No One's Gonna Change You", crossed over and entered Billboard's Top 100 Chart. Fast forward to June 1st, of 2004 and her new single "If I Close My (Everything Will Be Alright)" was debuted at radio and within weeks the record soared to the top of the music charts. She performed the song live on the Regis & Kelly talk show on ABC, and her debut album This Is Reina was released on October 26, 2004.

With a five and a half octave range, Reina has captivated audiences throughout the country. At WKTUS Beat Stock Concerts she sang for over 31,000 adoring fans. In addition to singing, this 27-year-old charismatic New Yorker from the Bronx is a proficient songwriter. She co-wrote her single "Anything For Love" and upon hearing this song, Donna Summer was impressed enough to enlist Reina to write for her.

Her fans have expressed that "Find Another Woman" prompted them to leave bad relationships, and that the song is as empowering as the 70's hit "I Will Survive". She earned a nomination for Best New Artist at The Winter Music Dance Conference and was featured on Seventeen Magazine's "New Star Showcase". More information on Reina.

Kim Kuzma

Headliner Entertainer

Kuzma has performed across Canada, throughout the United States, Mexico and in Europe. Having performed for the Chicago Gay Games 2006 / Opening Ceremonies, Kim has also performed for many PRIDE events including Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver, Las Vegas and others. She has shared the stage of the Palace of Fine Arts and The Castro Theatre with the renowned San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. Mister Marcus, a reporter and critic from the Bay Area calls Kim Kuzma, "An absolute hit with the audience", and encouraged his readers to, "Keep an eye on this name!" Visit Kim's Website

Gioia Bruno (pronounced Joy-Yah Brew-No)

Headliner Entertainer

You may be more familiar with Gioia Bruno as the lead vocalist in the 80's girl group Exposé. One by one Exposé started releasing blockbuster albums (Exposure, What You Don't Know) and numerous chart-topping singles including Come Go With Me, Point Of No Return, Let Me Be The One, What You Don't Know, Tell Me Why and Billboards #1 hit single, Seasons Change.

Gioia's most recent single is a dance cover of Jackie Wilson's "Your love is lifting me (higher and higher)". Gioia's version is prominent on many club charts and DJ play reports throughout the country. She's thankful for the gifts she has received, thankful for the fans, and thankful she gets to do what she was born to do. Visit Gioia's Website

Lauren Hildebrandt

Headline Entertainer

Lauren Hildebrandt is a true triple-threat singer/dancer/actress. Discovered on NBC's talent show, FAME, with Debbie Allen, Lauren impressed the judges and became a top 12 finalist. Shortly after, Lauren burst on the dance music scene with her single "Burnin Out". It spent 13 weeks on the Billboard Dance charts, peaking at 5. Her second single "Dance with you" spent 8 weeks on the Billboard charts, peaking at 20. Both singles have been released internationally on a variety of DJ compilations.

Lauren has also appeared as a back-up dancer in the Black Eyed Peas music video, Bebot, and as a vocalist on Sharon Stone's Hurricane Katrina charity single, Come Together. Lauren's MySpace

Julie Barr

Comic Entertainer

Julie is one of the cruise industry's most sought after comics. She will have you rolling in the aisles with her special brand of GAY humor. Julie Barr transforms her insecurities into tight, sharp comedy routines. Actually, they are not routine, which is what makes them so brilliant. She is the comic's comic. Steve Morse of The Boston Globe to write, "Barr showed why she is probably the reigning Boston female stand-up comic." (Julie was grateful to achieve that status without a swimsuit competition.) Whether performing for comedy club audiences or at corporate events, Julie has the gift to create a sense of community with her audience. The Boston TAB called her "one of the funniest women comics in Boston and perhaps the country." Julie would like to remove all doubt by appearing on national television, although her true goal is to reach everyone in America – one small town at a time.

DJ JST

DJ

Already headlining at several gay pride events, DJ JST is on his way to becoming one of the hottest commodities on the DJ circuit. His recent productions for Billboard recording artists Danielle Bollinger, Lauren Hildebrandt, and Erin Hamilton are already the hot buzz in the dance world and on the charts . DJ JST will be joining our own DJ, Michael Kessler, on this cruise! Visit DJ JST website.

RJ Helton

Headline Entertainer

RJ Helton was thrust into TV & music stardom via the breakout hit TV series "American Idol," where he quickly rose to fame with his captivating performance as a Top 5 Finalist in the first season. RJ was one of the featured performers on the American Idol cast album which went Gold and reached No. 1 status on the Billboard charts in the Soundtrack category. He also participated in the national radio and media promotional tour which became a nationwide phenomenon. Visit RJ's Website

Brian Kent

Headline Entertainer

Brian has performed in Las Vegas where he met dance diva and RCA recording artist Kristine W. and worked as her backup vocalist for several years. He has also performed in numerous equity stage productions and commercial spots including his sold-out one man show at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotels Cinegrill. When Brian relocated to New York, he debut his show, "A Native New Yorker" and later to sold-out audiences in his sequel shows, "Life's for Rent" and "One Night Only". With the release of his first hit single, "Don't Stop Believin', Brian scored the praise of such spinners as Twisted Dee, Julian Marsh, Randy Bettis, Warren Gluck, Brett Henrichson and many more. Currently, putting his songwriting talents to the test, Kent is recording his full length album expected in Spring 2007. He is currently touring his new single, "I'm Not Crazy".

Lounge-Zilla

Comic Entertainer

Lounge-Zilla has musically invaded the USA, Canada and beyond with his naughty brand of twisted music, politically-incorrect comedy and an outrageous 3D finale that must be seen to be believed! Full-out hysterical, offensive comedy! A Fringe must-see! Featuring gay bitch Fiely A. Matias with composer/lyricist/accompanist Dennis T. Giacino, 'Lounge-zilla!' is billed as the worst cabaret act ever. Like there's such a thing as a good lounge act? Matias appears in kimono, which quickly gives way to a floral woman's bathing suit with a strategically placed fake lily, and sings of fag hags and wanting to be a girl. The songs are nicely offensive . . . Matias' stand-up banter makes this a Fringe must-see. From his microphone at center stage, he'll greet the entering audience members. He'll figure out 'who's fucking who' and who's a top or bottom. He'll encourage you to sit in the front row. "I need someone to spit on." No one's safe. Check your inhibitions and PC tendencies at the door. The thing is, Matias is so cute and disarming that he can get away with his shenanigans. LoungeZillaSings.com

Jenna Drey

Headline Entertainers

Jenna is one of the fastest rising stars on the pop music scene with a three-octave and has some of the best dance hits and ballads. �As a child, my desire always overshadowed my talent,� remembers Jenna Drey, who was born in Los Angeles and raised by her father, a soldier, and mother, a TV actress. Her mother, Margaret Teele, appeared in shows with Jerry Lewis, Elvis Presley, and even Gomer Pyle. Still, Jenna does not attribute her talent to heredity. The gift of music was something she worked hard to acquire. �I began singing lessons at seven, piano lessons at nine, and songwriting at eleven. My desire is what made me strive toward improving my craft as an artist and songwriter. It�s been a life long labor of love.� Today, Jenna Drey commands a sensual, yet silky voice that critics have likened to Karen Carpenter, with the strength and zest of a modern Pat Benetar. Her musical style incorporates catchy melodies and hooks with intelligent lyrics and high-spirited arrangements. JennaDrey.com

The Kinsey Sicks

Headline Entertainers

For over a decade, The Kinsey Sicks, America's Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet, have served up a feast of music and comedy to audiences across the United States. Combining award winning a cappella singing, sharp satire and over-the-top drag. KinseySicks.com

Ari Gold

Headline Entertainer

Ari Gold has built a musical career from the ground up. He's currently on tour supporting his sophomore album Space Under Sun. He was a performer at summer 2005 PRIDE festivals across America, and was recently nominated for Outmusician of the Year. More on Ari Gold...

Jimmy James

Headline Entertainer

Known throughout the world for his impersonation of Marilyn Monroe. Recently, his shows has focused on vocal impersonations of his favorite divas, including Cher, Judy Garland, and Bette Davis. Appearing wigless, hear his renderings of these infamous ladies singing their own songs, all connected by outrageous monologues. Check out JimmyJames.com.

Miss Coco Peru

Headline Entertainer

The vivacious diva, Miss Coco, will headline our 2006 Mardi Gras Tribute & Celebration Cruise. Peru has entertained across the country and starred in many LGBT movies including Girls Will Be Girls (2003) and Trick. The publication L.A. Weekly, put it best, "If there were an award for most girlish and glamorous, funniest, mouthiest diva/icon/comedian, the inimitable Miss Coco Peru would win hands down." Check her out!

Bianca Del Rio

Hostess | Entertainer

Bianca Del Rio has performed in many clubs throughout the country. Bianca has hosted the annual Bourbon Street Costume Awards at Mardi Gras and Drag Brunch at the W Hotel. He has also emceed Bianca's Comedy and Variety Show, Drag Bingo, and Illusions at OZ. Some of his more dubious achievements have been winning the New Orleans Gay Entertainer of The Year, and New Orleans Gay Bitch of the Year.

Michele Balan

Headline Entertainer

A brash, New York stand-up comedian, who for the past 12 years has been appearing all over the country performing for both Gay and Straight audiences (she is bi-comical!) Her performances range from the Montreal' Just for Laughs' Festival to the Improv in Los Angeles to Caroline's on Broadway in NYC! She has headlined and hosted many Pride events and Fundraisers. For more on Michele - click here!

Jason Stuart

Headline Entertainer

Award wining actor, comic, emcee, and lecturer Jason Stuart joined Aquafest for Halloween. This incredible, accomplished performer has an unending list of credits. He has starred in film and television, including "Will & Grace", "My Wife & Kids", and "Charmed". He is regularly seen on Comedy Central in hit program hits like "Make Me Laugh" and "Out There In Hollywood, Part III". Jason is a true talent! Visit Jason's web site...

James Williamson

Comic Entertainer

This up-and-coming gay comedian who's straight-up funny hit the comedy scene in 2005 with featured appearances in West Coast comedy showcases, television and the Aquafest Halloween cruise. Aquafest is proud to have James back to entertain on the 2006 President's Cruise with his hilariously unique and twisted perspective of everyday life. Check out this self-described gay, athletic, Southern redneck, frat-boy!

Skott Freedman

Music Entertainer

As one of "OUT Magazine" Top 100 for 2003, Aquafest was pleased to have Skott share his talent as an accomplished pianist and singer on our Mardi Gras 2004 Caribbean Cruise aboard the Costa Mediterranea. Skott is known for his national college tour and is a LGBT rising star. Check out more on Skott...

Bernadette

Entertainer

Glen Barley, as Bernadette, has been our Aquafest Star and hostess since we began in 2002. Bernadette is a star of the Miss Camp America Foundation and has helped raise over $1 million for HIV charities in the Houston area. Her performances are extraordinary and unforgettable. Glen Barley is a renowned hairdresser and world class bowling champion. Bernadette is always a smash on Aquafest cruises!

Eddie Sarfaty

Comic Entertainer

Gay comic, Eddie Sarfaty joined Aquafest for Alaska 2004 as a host and performer. Eddie has been seen on Comedy Central, is a national comedy club performer and spends his Summers in Fire Island and Key West. He is also the newest member of the ground breaking troupe Funny Gay Males in Provincetown. Laugh along with Eddie...

Julie Goldman

Headline Entertainer

A provacative Lesbian performer, Julie joined Aquafest for Halloween 2004. She has starred on HBO's "The Sopranos", has performed with the Puppetry of The Penis and is a star of numerous national comedy clubs. Julie is one of the brightest lights in female comedy and has hosted several LGBT Pride festivals across America. Visit Julie Goldman's web site now and HOLD ON!!!!