Internationally acclaimed two-time Grammy award winner Kalani Pe’a performed at the Hilo Palace Theater on June 22, 2019. His home town performance was magnificent, and the crowd cheered as they watched their local singer-songwriter perform songs he wrote mostly in traditional style and in the Hawaiian language (Olelo).
Music can bring people together. The music of Kalani Pe’a’s new CD No ‘Ane’i (We Belong Here) has the intention of bringing the Hawaiian people together, both as a resource for each other, and as a resource to build a better future for the Hawaiian people. His new album encourages people to sing, learn the Hawaiian language, dance traditional Hula, and be authentic both to themselves and to the culture of the Hawaiian people. He helps to bring the people together, and his music is dedicated to perpetuating the love of Hawaii.
Kalani Pe’a spoke to me after his show and said that he hoped that people could come together and live peacefully together. He hopes that people will continue with the Hawaiian culture, traditions, language, and with care and responsibility for each other. He hopes that people will use each other as resources to care for each other and the land. People are a resource in and of themselves.
The show was fantastic! The performance opened from a dark stage, keiki hula dancers from his former school filed out onto the stage. The lights came up, and a man was drumming the ipo (Hawaiian gourd). Children danced to the Oli Hula. It was beautiful, and very traditional to Hawaii. You could feel a change in the room. The children left the stage. The lights went down again and Kalani Pe’a’s musicians were on stage. The music started, and from behind the curtain you can hear the majestic tenor voice of Kalani Pe’a. As he entered the stage, in the sold-out historic theater, you could see the excitement of the audience. The show proceeded beautifully and in the Hawaiian tradition, Kalani Pe’a showed his compassionate Aloha spirit. His warmth and love of the people filled the room. Every song had a special meaning to him. The dancers came in performing traditional hulas. They danced hula with the uli uli’s. Then a special performance from Miss Aloha Hula, Natasha Oda thrilled the room. There were performances from the local halau and his former kumu. Kalani Pe’a also had a special song that was dedicated to his grandmother, who now has Alzheimer’s. Proceeds from the night’s performance were donated to Alzheimer’s care, and Kalani Pe’a’s grandmother has a special fundraising page where the public can make donations.
The highlight of the show was the gratitude, compassion, intent, and humble spirit shown during the performances by the charismatic Kalani Pe’a. We enjoyed so many beautiful songs, and everything had a very special meaning. Kalani Pe’a brought tears to my eyes, joy, excitement and a better understanding of the Hawaiian culture and what it means to be Hawaiian. We have to take care of all that is Hawaii, the people, the culture and traditions, including the land, natural resources, the volcanic mountains, and the sea.
Kalani Pe’a is not only a musician, but a resource for the people of Hawaii. That is what he wants to share in his music. People are a resource to each other. Pe’a’s music is full of tradition, authenticity, style, and he has a beautiful clear strong voice! I think that is partly why he won a second Grammy. His music is authentic, meaningful, well done, and full of heart!
We especially enjoyed the artistic and beautiful performances by Hilo’s own Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani ‘E, Hālau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua and Hālau I Ka Leo Ola O Na Mamo. The students came who performed traditional Hula from the Halau I Ka Leo Ola O Na Mamo, of the Hawaiian Language School, Ke Kula ‘o Nawahiokalani‘opu‘u, were from the school that Kalani Pe’a is a graduate.
I would recommend to anyone, who would like to see authentic Hawaiian music, to go see a Kalani Pe’a show. Through his music you can learn more about Hawaiian culture and enjoy Hawaiian dancing. The evening was full of great family entertainment, with his jokes, his “talk story,” and his beautiful songs that he sang from the heart!
Kalani Pe’a has won numerous awards and performs locally in Hawaii, on the mainland of the USA and Internationally. Please check his website for information on his tours, awards, bio, and merchandise. Kalani Pe’a’s albums are available on iTunes for digital download. CDs can be purchased worldwide online at www.islandheritagemusic.com.
Kalani Pe’a will be touring the Hawaiian Islands, Japan and the United States including Alaska through 2019. His full tour schedule, please visit his website at: https://www.kalanipeamusic.com/
For performances at the Historic venue the Hilo Palace Theater please visit: https://hilopalace.com/tag/hilo-palace-theater
Photos: Kai Sovereign and Kanoa Sovereign