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Kalei Gamiao

Kalei Gamiao

A true ukulele virtuoso, Kalei Gamiao fascinates audiences all over the world. And this as much for his excellent mastery of the instrument as for his imaginative musicality. Discover the portrait of this brilliant Hawaiian artist!

A true ukulele virtuoso, Kalei Gamiao fascinates audiences all over the world. And this as much for his excellent mastery of the instrument as for his imaginative musicality. Discover the portrait of this brilliant Hawaiian artist!

Who is Kalei Gamiao?

Kalei Gamiao was thirteen years old when his path crossed that of a ukulele. And this meeting is, to say the least, unexpected. A baseball player at the time, an injury forced him to remain immobilized for some time. It was then that his parents suggested that he take ukulele lessons, to keep him busy. The connection with this small four-stringed instrument was immediate. Over time, Kalei perfected his art and adopted a wide range of musical styles: jazz, classical, rock, pop, funk, blues… without forgetting the music of his cultural roots, Hawaiian music. He draws his inspiration from the greatest ukulele masters: Kimo Hussey, Alfred Canopin, Gordon Mark, Benny Chong and Byron Yasui. Thanks to his perseverance and unfailing passion for the ukulele, Kalei Gamiao has today become a virtuoso in his field. He also helped anchor the ukulele into the XNUMXst century. 

Kalei Gamiao, a vanguard of the current ukulele revolution

With the release in 2008 of his first album, "Contemporary Ukulele", Kalei Gamiao greatly contributed to the development of the ukulele, particularly in the American market. In 2012, after the release of his second album called "Redefined", the enthusiasm is even stronger. Kalei Gamiao is known to thousands of ukulele enthusiasts around the world. In parallel with this growing notoriety, he continued his tours in different parts of the world, notably in Thailand, Japan and China. His performances allow him to share his passion for music and delight the public. Shortly after, at the end of 2013, he offered his audience a third album entitled "Merry Ukulele Christmas". This new album showcases Kalei's expanded repertoire and once again the audience is there. Finally in 2016, he released his latest album, "These Moments". A real musical journey, his fans discover superb and captivating pieces. Original creations mixing pop, rock, classical, jazz and world music. They are punctuated with modernity and loaded with soul. Kalei Gamiao is an excellent musician and an innovative composer, which earned him three nominations for the "Na Hoku Hanohano" awards (the biggest music awards in Hawaii, comparable to the Grammy Awards).

A source of inspiration for ukulele lovers 

Kalei Gamiao knows how to seize his audience, as soon as he pulls delicately on his four-stringed instrument. It is easy for him to silence a talkative crowd, who become captivated by his skill and incredible mastery of the ukulele. It has the ability to create incredibly rich and full sounds, which is even more amazing when you consider that it only has two octaves to work with. Some even say of him that his music and ukulele prowess will take the instrument to new heights! As a true enthusiast, Kalei has a saying that as long as the ukulele is present, there can be no sad or dull moment. He lives and breathes music and ukulele every moment. Kalei also inspires the younger generations enormously to, one day, play as well as him. Like a poet, he likes to say that his instrument expresses every word, every emotion. “I love creating and sharing my musical journeys for everyone to enjoy. But for him, the power of the ukulele goes even further. During his travels, he was able to observe the ability of the ukulele to bring people together. Kalei is convinced that music has the power to inspire, heal and create peace. He even said in an interview: “Music has the power to change the world. I am only a messenger. »

And when asked about the choice of his favorite ukulele, Kalei does not have a strong opinion. He explains that there are many factors to take into account, to consider such an instrument as an excellent ukulele. The intonation, the bracing, the size, the tone of the woods, the quality of the construction... These are all very important criteria. But what he keeps reminding us is that “what matters most is finding the one that's right for you. He advises paying close attention to the feel of our instrument and how the ukulele reacts to our playing.

Photo credit: @kaleigamiaofanpage


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