Jesse Kaleihia Andre Kalima was born in Honolulu on October 31, 1920, at a time when the ukulele was just becoming recognized for its capability to be played as a solo instrument. At age 15, Kalima burst into the public music scene, and is credited with accelerating the development of the solo ukulele, when he won the 1935 Territorial Amateur Contest at Honolulu's Princess Theater with his rendition of "Stars and Stripes Forever". He popularized the use of the tenor size ukulele and was one of the first to use an amplifier with his instrument.
Jesse Kalima died on July 13, 1980.
The Hawaii House of Representatives passed a House Resolution in 1981 honoring his memory and artistic achievements.
Kalima was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 2007.:280
- Herb Ohta Jr, Appreciation of History, 2011