The Working Man
Born and raised in Kihei, Maui, Kala’e Camarillo comes from a family of music educators and entertainers. His grandfather, George Camarillo, started the first ʻukulele band in Hawai'i public schools at Waiakea Intermediate, and his father, Rama, followed in his footsteps by becoming an ʻukulele teacher as well. In addition, his mother, Cora, is the sister of multi Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner Lehua Kalima of Nā Leo Pilimehana, and his great uncle is the late ʻukulele virtuoso, Jesse Kalima.
At the age of seven, Kala'e's father taught him to play the ‘ukulele, which led to him picking up other instruments like the guitar, bass, and piano. While a senior at Kamehameha Schools Maui, Kala’e and his cousin Dane Lum Ho won the statewide band competition, “Band Champ,” a Tom Moffat Production. Upon winning, the two were awarded the opportunity to open for two major acts: America and The Stylistics.
In 2009, Kala’e moved to O’ahu to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he played on the men’s volleyball team and graduated with a degree in Elementary & Special Education. His education and passion for music led him to becoming a third-generation music teacher (Kapalama Elementary) and professional musician. Kala'e entered the local music scene as the lead 'ukulele player and vocalist for the band Simply Sedd (with 'Olu Campbell & Christian Taum), who were finalist in the Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search. Today, he performs occasionally with his older brother, Kamaka, as the Camarillo Brothers, and now with his solo career. Most recently, Kala'e began performing along side the legendary Robi Kahakalau (known for many of her hit songs, such as Pi'i Mai Ka Nalu, Makua, Keiki O Ka 'Aina, Love & Honesty, etc.). At night, he can be found performing at various venues, such as Kani Ka Pila Grille, Aulani, Duke's Waikiki, Shirokiya, Trump Tower, and Nico's Pier 38.
On March 23rd, 2017, Kala'e released his his debut album entitled “Working Man.” The album, which consists of 12 tracks (11 originals, 1 cover), can be heard across the Maui & Hilo radio airwaves and most recently on WNYR Radio New York. In 2018, "Working Man" garnered Kala'e a nomination at the prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawaii Grammys), for one of Hawaii's "Most Promising Artists,"
On August 30th, 2019, Kala'e released his sophomore album entitled "Feel at Home." This album features 11 original tracks and was produced by Hawaii's very own two-time Grammy Award Winning Producer, Dave Tucciarone. On October 10th, 2020, Kala'e received his first ever Na Hoku Hanohano award for Contemporary Acoustic Album of the Year. "Feel at Home" is now available on all digital media platforms.
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