Sharkk Heartt to perform shows as artist-in-residence at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

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Electronic folk-pop singer-songwriter Sharkk Heartt, also known as Lara Ruggles. Photo Courtesy: Eventbrite

For the month of May, singer-songwriter Lara Ruggles, who performs as “Sharkk Heartt,” will be staying in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park as part of the National Parks Arts Foundation’s artist-in-residence program.

Ruggles, from Tucson, Ariz., is working on a collection of new songs and allowing the incredible landscapes of Hawai’i Volcanoes to inspire the production of her music.

During her residency, Sharkk Heartt will perform two intimate shows – one at the National Park’s Kahuku Visitor Contact Station on May 13 at 2 p.m., and the second at Lō’ihi Studios in Hilo on May 26. This second performance will be limited to only 15 people.


Ruggles, whose music draws comparisons to Sylvan Esso, Florence and the Machine, and London Grammar, released a 2015 album and a 2011 EP under her own name, with an acoustic folk-pop style, before moving from Denver, Colo., back to her hometown of Tucson, surrounding her songs with minimalist electronic arrangements and live vocal looping, and taking on the stage name Sharkk Heartt.

She has shared a stage with Grammy Award-winner LeAnn Rimes and toured with queer activist and spoken-word poet Andrea Gibson, but when the COVID pandemic put touring on pause for performers all over the globe, she leaned on another skill – her work in nonprofit fundraising (Ruggles currently works full-time as Director of Development at YWCA Southern Arizona) – to coordinate a statewide advocacy effort in Arizona to get federal funding for independent music venues across the country.

The result was that Congress passed a bill providing $16 billion in relief grants for independent venues, the largest public rescue of the arts in US history, and Ruggles was elected to the board of the National Independent Venue Association.


While this was happening, Ruggles still found time to release new music, putting out the singles “More Than This” and “How to Love”, and the album Wars Our Mothers Fought, between 2020 and 2022. Her music is both fierce (the Sharkk) and vulnerable (the Heartt), tackling themes ranging from the anxiety and fear of loss that comes with loving deeply, to righteous anger at systems that by valuing life only in terms of the ability to labor and produce, sell all of us short.

Ruggles is excited to spend the month of May working on new music at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

“Being selected for this residency is a dream come true,” she said. “I can’t wait to find out what Hawai’i will bring out in these new songs.”


Catch one of Sharkk Heartt’s performances:

  • May 13 at Kahuku Visitor Contact Station, located in the district of Kaʻū, near mile-marker 70.5 on Highway 11, a one-hour drive from Kīlauea Visitor Center. 2 p.m.
  • May 26 at Lō’ihi Studios, 308 Kamehameha Ave Ste 115, Hilo, HI (reserve tickets here). Doors at 6:30 p.m., show 7-9 p.m., artist meet and greet 9-10 p.m.

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