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KEALI’I REICHEL is the most popular and best selling Hawaiian singer / songwriter / musician in history. He has played for huge crowds all over America for several years, including headlining such prestigious venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. He has performed to packed houses in Tokyo and Osaka for the past ten years and consistently sells out concerts from Honoka’a to Honolulu, Seattle to San Diego, and Los Angeles to New York. He has also opened concerts for musical superstars such as Bonnie Raitt, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion, and Sting. He has sold well over one million records just in Hawaii, a state with a population of 1.3 million people. In addition, he has become a Hawaiian cultural icon, promoting Hawaiian language and culture to a new generation of Islanders.
Keali’i Reichel was born and raised on Maui, growing up in Lahaina and spending weekends and summers at his grandmother’s house in Pa’ia on the windward side of the island. His passion for the language and culture of Hawaii led him to become the founding director of Punana Leo O Maui, the Hawaiian language immersion school. He has taught Hawaiian culture and language at Maui Community College, and he was the Cultural Resource Specialist and Curator at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. In 1980 he founded his own hula school, Halau Ke’alaokamaile, and has won numerous awards over the years. Keali’i is also recognized as an accomplished chanter.
In 1994 he independently produced and released a collection of Hawaiian traditional and contemporary songs and chants entitled Kawaipunahele, which became an RIAA Certified Gold Record. His subsequent music releases, Lei Hali’a (1995), E O Mai (1997), Melelana (1999), and Ke’alaokamaile (2003), Kamahiwa I (2005), and Kamahiwa II (2009), have cemented his place in the Hawaiian music industry. All told, he has been awarded 25 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, and his consistent placement in Billboard magazine’s World Music and Heatseeker Charts has garnered him international attention. Ke’alaokamaile was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Hawaiian Album category.
Keali’i retains his initial goal of presenting new compositions in the Hawaiian language for hula students, and works to dispel long-held stereotypes of the living culture of Hawai’i and her indigenous people.