Kealii Blaisdell

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Kealii Blaisdell
Born (1972-07-16) July 16, 1972 (age 44)
Origin Honolulu, Hawaii
Genres Native Hawaiian music
Traditional Hawaiian Songs
Occupation(s) Musician, Activist
Notable instruments
Slack-key guitar

Kealii Blaisdell (born July 16, 1972 in Honolulu, Hawaii), multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Finalist (Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts) for Most Promising Artist and Hawaiian Language Performance, Hawaiian slack key guitarist, recording artist, and music composer. A prolific composer of the Native Hawaiian music genre with over 130 original Traditional Hawaiian Songs and a Native Hawaiian Activist.

History[edit]

E. M. Kealii Blaisdell is the middle child of Elwood "Woody" Aken and A. Leinaala Pollick, and was born on July 16, 1972 in Honolulu, Hawaii. At age 18, he legally changed his name from "Aken" to his Great-grandmother's last name "Blaisdell". His family line on his mother's side of the family is politically well-known not only in the United States, but in the State of Hawaii, Territorial and Hawaiian Kingdom Governments as well. He is 3rd cousin to former Honolulu Mayor "Neal Blaisdell" Neal S. Blaisdell, 4th cousin to the first Lt. Governor for the State of Hawaii, "James Kealoha" James "Jimmy" Kealoha and 6th cousin to former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Privy Council member under King Kalakaua, "John Adams Cummins" John Adams Kuakini Cummins.

Kealii's family, the Kaleo family, are lineal descendants of the High Priest of Liloa, Laeanuikaumanamana. The very first Kaleo to have appeared was the son of Laeanuikaumanamana and Kuhiaokalani, was Kaleoolaeanuikaumanamana (b.1710 Kau, Hawaii). He is the Grandson of Issac "Boy" Aken and Genevieve Kaleo; Great Grandson of Hawaiian Author Joseph ChunFat and Lillian Blaisdell (mother's side), who the Blaisdell family is the fifth largest family in the United States. His Blaisdell family hails from Lancashire, England where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor in the year 1550 when John Bleasedale had estates in Lancashire. The Blaisdell name is believed to be descended from St. Blaise, a patron saint of wool combers. The addition of the "dell" or "dale" in Blaisdell/Bleasdale is possessive and typical of many Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumberland family names.

Music Profession[edit]

Kealii's passion to perpetuate Traditional Hawaiian Music is also credited to his mentors who taught him everything he knows such as: Dr. Kuualoha Meyer-Hoomanawanui, his cousin Kumu J.R. Kahai Topolinski, Rev. Dennis Kamakahi, his 3rd cousin the late Dennis Pavao, his aunt and uncle Hoaonalani and Pearl Namomilaniokai Kaohelaulii and the late Judy "Nani Kauai" Keaomoai of Niihau.

Over the years, Kealii's passion in perpetuating Traditional Hawaiian music thru originality has caught the attention and respect of one of Hawaii's most well-known and prolific Traditional Hawaiian songwriters of all time, Rev. Dennis Kamakahi. Dennis has said that Kealii is the next generation of "haku mele" songwriters, and totally supports Kealii's views that the only way to perpetuate the Traditional Hawaiian music is to introduce something new. Kealii has also earned the respect and attention of artists such as: Ledward Ka'apana, Roland Cazimero, Darlene Ahuna, Ku'uipo Kumukahi, Nohelani Cypriano, Sean Na'auao, and the late Dennis Pavao and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, and his uncle, the legendary Grammy Award winning Cyril Pahinui. Cyril Pahinui, who is featured with Kealii on his second album, has classified Kealii as one of Hawaii's most gifted and talented artists because of his ability of playing Ki Ho'alu, singing and his ability of writing original "haku mele's." He has written songs for Baba B (Come With Me / Track 11), Preston / A Sons Plea from the "Best of Fat Katz" CD just to name a few. Kealii only performs and sings either any original compositions that he has written or original songs from his mentors Dr. Kuualoha Meyer-Hoomanawanui and Kumu J.R. Kahai Topolinski. His music career has garnished him 2 Na Hoku Hanohano Award Finalist nods in 1998 for "Most Promising Artist" and in 2007 for "Hawaiian Language Performance"; and 3 Hawaii Music Awards as a finalist.

However, in late 2006 after the release of his second CD, Kealii had suffered from a stroke. Since then, from early 2007 to current Kealii had regained about 98% with only some long term memory issues and minor speech issues; and in late 2013, he officially retired from the Hawaii Music Industry.

Legal, Political & Hawaiian Activist[edit]

During his musical career, he also attended law school and earned his Juris Doctorate degree. He is the former principal of Nishijima-Blaisdell & Associates. Kealii is experienced in the field of U.S. Federal and State of Hawaii Labor Laws; Hawaii Family Laws and is ADR certified (mediation). He is also well versed in Hawaiian Kingdom Laws, particularly in Kuleana Land (Escheats of Kuleana), Allodial titles and Traditional Land Tenures. He is also the nephew of Dr. Richard Kekuni Blaisdell, a well known Hawaiian activist and pioneer of the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement. From 1991 to 2004 Kekuni took Kealii under his wing and passed on his knowledge to Kealii in hopes that one day, Kealii would do the same for the Kanaka Maoli people as his uncle did, the "right" and "legal" way.

From 2009 to 2014, he was a Consultant Advisor for various State and Federal agencies such as United States Marshal's (U.S. Justice Dept.) concerning Native Hawaiian Affairs in Waiehu, Maui; Department of Land & Natural Resources concerning Native Hawaiian Affairs in Waiehu, Waihe'e, Ukumehame and Olowalu, Maui; State of Hawaii Sheriff's Department concerning Native Hawaiian Affairs in Waiehu, Maui; Maui Police Department concerning Native Hawaiian Affairs in Ukumehame and Waiehu, Maui; Office of Hawaiian Affairs concerning Native Hawaiian Affairs in Ukumehame, Maui; and West Maui Watershed Project in Waiehu, Waihe`e and Wailuku, Maui.

His political involvement extends to being the Campaign Chair & Manager for Jonathan Ho`omanawanui (R), for State Rep. District 14 on Kauai; Campaign Advisor for Marissa Capelouto for Congress 2nd District; Kawika Crowley for Congress, 2nd District; Campaign Advisor Keali`i Makekau for OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs), Campaign Advisor Steve Yoder for State Rep. District 15, Kauai. Other notable campaigns involved in: Duke Aiona for Governor (2014) and Elle Cochran for Maui County Council (2014).

Kealii is also credited with securing his family Royal Patented Kuleana Lands in Ukumehame, Maui in perpetuity. He is also credited with the discovery of stunning violations committed by MECO (Maui Electric Co.) of desecration of a heiau, alongside his cousins Waylen and Wilmont Kahaialii, which made headlines throughout the State of Hawaii.

Albums, Nā Hōkū Hanohano & Some Original Compositions[edit]

ALBUMS

ACCREDITED ALBUMS

  • Akoni and Da Palapalai Patch
  • Baba B - Bigboy in Love
  • Ehukai
  • The Best of FatKatz
  • Justin - Soothe You

NA HOKU HANOHANO

SOME ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS

References[edit]