Kalani Peʻa at the 2019 Grammy Awards Red Carpet
|Birth name||Trazaara Kalani Juanito Peʻa|
|Born||April 13, 1983|
Panaʻewa, Hilo, Hawaii, US
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, entertainer, educator|
Kalani Peʻa (born April 13, 1983) is a two-time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter of Hawaiian music. He released his first album, E Walea, in 2016, which won the 2017 Grammy award for "Best Regional Roots Music Album". Peʻa released his second album, No ʻAneʻi, in 2018, which won the Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.
Early life and education
Peʻa was born in Hilo, Hawaii and was raised in Pana‘ewa, Hilo, Hawaii. Peʻa started singing as a young boy due to a speech impediment. He comes from a musical family and his mother, Pua Leonard, introduced him to music to help him with words. His father, Arthur Pe‘a, also exposed him to jazz and big band music, which later influenced Kalani's musical style. In his early years, Peʻa performed in choirs and talent competitions. Some of his music influences include The Temptations and Stevie Wonder. According to the Los Angeles Times, music saved his life.
Peʻa received his bachelor's degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in public relations/news editorial and has also worked on his master's degree focusing on early childhood education. He is a 2001 graduate of Ke Kula o Nawahiokalaniopuu, the Hawaiian Language School in Keaʻau, Puna, HI. Peʻa illustrated and published five Hawaiian language children stories. Peʻa is a fluent Hawaiian language speaker. He departed his position as a Hawaiian resource coordinator at Kamehameha Schools in 2017 to pursue his career in music full-time.
Peʻa was involved in musicals and acting productions while being part of various popular Play Bills at Colorado Mesa University. Peʻa was affiliated with the Chamber and Concert choirs during his first three years in college. In 2001, Kalani entered and won in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition for the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter.
In 2017, his debut album, E Walea, won a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for Contemporary Album of the Year. In 2017 Peʻa made history by becoming the first artist ever to win both a Grammy Award and a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for the same album.
The Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album began in 2012. Since the category began it has had all Louisiana winners until 2016 when Kalani Peʻa won and ended the Louisiana winning streak.
When Peʻa won his Grammy Award in 2017 for Best Regional Roots Music Album his Producer Dave Tucciarone said "I don't think there could have been a better ambassador of aloha," , "He is Hawaiian, he speaks fluent Hawaiian, he teaches Hawaiian and he's immersed in the culture. His first love may be soul and R&B, but he is a Hawaiian music artist … and the people on the Mainland saw his spirit shining through."
On December 22, 2018, Peʻa performed at the Hawaii Bowl Halftime Show at the Aloha Stadium. The attendance count was 30,911. The Hawaiʻi Bowl (currently known as the SoFi Hawaiʻi Bowl for sponsorship reasons) is a college football bowl game that has been played annually at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, since 2002. The bowl is one of eleven post-season contests run by ESPN Events.[non-primary source needed]
In 2019, Peʻa was invited by The Recording Academy to present at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony along with Lzzy Hale, Questlove, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Tokimonsta and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Shaggy (musician) was the official host for the official ceremony and Peʻa presented awards in ten categories.
Peʻa showed up on the red carpet at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in a purple sequin blazer that caught attention from the press. His look was then featured and installed into the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live in March 2019. He paired his look with fresh lei from Hawaiʻi which was then recreated for the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live. His purple crown flower lei he wore was a gift from Hawaiian Music group Ho'okena. Peʻa's partner and manager Allan B. Cool wore a feather cape, or ʻahu‘ula, created by master feather-worker and cultural practitioner Kawika Lum-Nelmida.
Peʻa made his debut at the Merrie Monarch Festival in 2019. He performed for Hula Hālau O Kamuela under the direction of Kumu Hula Kunewa Mook and Kauʻi Kamanaʻo. The hālau entered two of Peʻa's original compositions he wrote or co-wrote. In the Miss Aloha Hula Competition the mele or song entered was titled "Kuʻu Poliʻahu" and for the ʻauana or modern hula competition segment the mele or song entered was titled "He Lei Aloha (No Hilo)". The hālau took top overall honors including the Lōkālia Montgomery Perpetual Trophy.
In October 2019, Lincoln Center announced their American Songbook season line up for 2020. Pe'a was named to perform apart of the music series which also included Ali Stroker, André De Shields and more. This marked Pe'a's debut performance in New York City and making it a first ever for Hawaiian Music to be apart of the series.
On February 18, 2017, the Council of the County of Hawaiʻi congratulated Peʻa with a proclamation.[better source needed] The council said, "Your Grammy award inspires members of the next generation to work hard, dream big, and express love and joy in all that they do. By sharing your gift with others, you will ensure the perpetuation of ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i Hawaiian Language." On the same date, Harry Kim, the Mayor of County of Hawaii, awarded Kalani with a Proclamation. Kim said, "Pe’a's victory is to further bring awareness and appreciation of Hawaiian language and culture far beyond our Hawaiian islands." On Oct. 8, 2017, Pe’a was given a Commendation by Alan Arakawa, mayor, Maui County. "You are to be commended for your hard work and dedication in perpetuating the Hawaiian culture through your musical artistry. You have brought honor to the State of Hawaii, the Maui County and our entire community," Arakawa said. The Senate and legislators at the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu also acknowledged Kalani with a resolution establishing Feb. 18, 2017 as "Kalani Peʻa Day." This "Kalani Peʻa Day" was given to Pe’a during his homecoming concert at his alma mater at Ke Kula o Nawahiokalaniopuu – The Hawaiian Language Laboratory School in Keaʻau, Hawaiʻi.[better source needed] Another resolution was created to honor Pe’a for this achievement by David Ige, governor of Hawai’i and the Maui County for embarking a historical moment for the Hawaiian music industry and music worldwide. On May 6, 2019 Peʻa was honored by the County of Maui and the Mayor of Maui County, Michael Victorino for winning his second Grammy Award.
- Kanakaloka (2017)
- Sung with Henry Kapono on "All In Love Is Fair", from The Songs of C&K (2018)
- ʻŌpae Ē, Hawaiian Lullaby (2019) 
|Year (edition)||Nominated Work||Category||Result||Ref|
|"E Walea"||Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album||Won|||
|"No ʻAneʻi"||Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album||Won|||
|2019||"No ʻAneʻi"||Album Of The Year||Nominated|||
|2019||"No ʻAneʻi"||Male Vocalist Of The Year||Nominated|||
|2019||"No ʻAneʻi"||Island Music Album Of The Year||Nominated|||
|2019||"No ʻAneʻi"||Hawaiian Engineering - Dave Tucciarone||Nominated|||
|2019||"No ʻAneʻi"||Graphic Design - Daryl Fujiwara||Nominated|||
|2019||"Hilo March"||Music Video Of The Year||Nominated|||
|2018||"Kanakaloka"||Hawaiian Single Of The Year||Nominated|||
|2018||"E Nā Kini"||Music Video Of The Year||Nominated|||
|2017||"E Walea"||Contemporary Album of the Year||Won|||
|2017||"E Walea"||Album Of The Year||Nominated|||
|2017||"E Walea"||Male Vocalist Of The Year||Nominated|||
|2017||"E Walea"||Most Promising Artist Of The Year||Nominated|||
|2017||"E Walea"||Graphic Design - Daryl Fujiwara||Nominated|||
|2017||"E Walea"||Favorite Entertainer Of The Year||Nominated|||
|2017||"E Walea"||Hawaiian Language Performance||Nominated|||
|2017||"He Lei Aloha (No Hilo)"||Song Of The Year - Kalani Pe'a and Devin Kamealoha Forrest||Nominated|||
|2017||"He Lei Aloha (No Hilo)"||Haku Mele Award - Kalani Pe'a and Devin Kamealoha Forrest||Nominated|||
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