Irvine Barclay Theatre

One of Hawai'i’s Brightest New Stars Performs at The Barclay


Grammy Award Winner Kalani Pe'a blends soothing melodies and gorgeous harmonies of the Hawaiian Islands.


Kalani Pe'a

Friday, February 8, 2019 at 8pm

Tickets: $36, $46, $100


Irvine Barclay Theatre - 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine CA | 949.854.4646


With his distinctive vocal range and a gift for composing soulful Hawaiian songs, Kalani Pe'a is one of Hawai'i’s brightest new stars. His 2017 debut album, E Walea, won the Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album, making Kalani the first Hawaiian recording artist to ever win in the category. 

Influenced from an early age by classical and R&B music, Kalani blends his soothing melodies and powerful ballads with hauntingly gorgeous harmonies and resonant lyrics—creating a musical style all his own, delivered with the passion, poetry and soul of Hawai'i.

Kalani Pe'a's sophomore release titled No ‘Ane’i (We Belong Here), is nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category. 


Aiau Koa, Guitar | Kalani Miles, Guitar | Wailau Ryder, Bass



View Kalani Pe’a: He Lei Aloha


Artist Website | Facebook | Twitter


Interview with Kalani Pe'a



Part of the Hawaiian Music Masters Series





In 2017, Kalani Pe'a's debut album, E Walea (“relaxing at ease with the gentle voices of the birds"), took home the Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album. It reached No. 1 on the iTunes world music charts and No. 12 on the Billboard world albums charts. In Hawai‘i, Kalani Pe'a was awarded the 2017 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award (Hawai‘i’s Grammy) for Best Hawaiian Contemporary Album, making history "as the first Hawai‘i recording artist EVER to have received a Grammy Award and a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for the same project. No one has accomplished that before." (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

Accolades continued with his August 2018 sophomore release, No ‘Ane‘i, which reached No.1 on iTunes world music charts and No.11 on Billboard’s world music charts. No ‘Ane’i (“We Belong Here”), was nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category.


Self-described as “Hawaiian contemporary soul,” Kalani Pe'a was awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation in 2018. With his passion for perpetuating the Hawaiian language, his albums feature his original Hawaiian songs alongside his affectionate arrangements and Hawaiian interpretations of some of his R&B favoritesa nod to the Western music he grew up listening. 


Kalani Peʻa sings everything from classical, musicals, ballads, R&B, soul and, of course, Hawaiian music, displaying his wide-ranging talent as a songwriter and music composer. It started at age four when Pe'a was diagnosed with a speech impediment; his mother Pua Leonard introduced her son to singing and music in order to help him pronounce his words. Leonard and Pe'a’s father, Arthur (Ata) Pe'a, who comes from a musical family, encouraged Kalani to take vocal lessons and choir. By the time he was eight years old, Pe'a was winning numerous talent competitions statewide.


At age 18, he won Hawai‘i’s Brown Bags to Stardom music talent competition. While a student at Colorado Mesa University (formerly known as Mesa State College), from where he received his degree in mass communications, he garnered first place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition of the Colorado/Wyoming chapter, in men’s classical and musical division. “From speech therapy to being a college graduate in communications,” noted Pe'a’s father with humor, “Kalani can’t stop talking and singing.”


In the process of planning his debut album, Pe'a contacted Dave Tucciarone, a 13-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning engineer and producer based in Honolulu. “I had to travel every weekend from Maui to meet Dave for seven months, collaborate with my musicians, and just sing my heart out,” Pe'a noted. The hard work paid off with the 2017 Grammy win, followed by his first Nā Hōkū Hanohano award.


A fluent Hawaiian speaker and graduate of the Hawaiian language school, Ke Kula ‘o Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu, Pe'a went on to illustrate and publish five Hawaiian language children’s stories. He taught at Kamehameha Preschools in Kona, and worked for eight years as a Hawaiian resource coordinator for Kamehameha Schools on Maui, creating curriculum and teaching Hawaiian culture with a science focus.


He now has the opportunity to focus on his music full-time. He was honored by the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives with an official proclamation in 2017: It is vital that Native Hawaiian culture and the arts be perpetuated for future generations: Kalani Pe'a is a torchbearer, and we recognize his accolades, accomplishments and continued work on behalf of Native Hawaiians.”




AIAU KOA (Guitar) is known for his performances with many of Hawai‘i’s leading artists, including Keali‘i Reichel and Kalani Pe'a. He is also an instructor and practitioner of the martial arts style of Ai Pilau Kenpo, drawn to its heart and soul exemplifying the spirit of ohana or family.

KALANI MILES (Guitar) was raised in Hawai‘i among many diverse cultures, including his own Samoan background. An accomplished guitarist, he has come to appreciate various genres of music, old and new, traditional and contemporary.

WAILAU RYDER (Bass) was born on O'ahu, but grew up in the Puna region of the Hawai‘i Island. One of his major influences was his aunt, the well-known musician and Hawaiian educator Lei'ohu Ryder. He is also a gifted vocalist and slack key guitarist.

About Irvine Barclay Theatre

Since opening its doors in 1990, Irvine Barclay Theatre has emerged as one of California's most imaginative performing arts showcases. A unique collaborative venture among the City of Irvine, the University of California, Irvine, and the private sector, the theatre has a reputation for wide-ranging programming in the fields of contemporary dance, music, and theater arts. Performances take place in the 750-seat "jewel box" theatre which is renowned for its intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics. Visit to learn about our exciting new season!