Maui-raised Hawaiian artist, Ka’imi Hanano’eau, wears a lot of hats. He is a musician, soundman, community do-gooder, and merman. When people first meet Ka`imi, the 6’4 musician seems quiet and a bit shy. While some might take his mellow demeanor too laid back, those in the entertainment recognize him to be an accomplished musician and one of the hardest working artists in town.
A respectful and kind-hearted individual who loves to inspire others, Kaʻimi was born and named “Kaʻimihananoʻeau” by his Aunty Napua Stevens, a well-known Hawaiian entertainer, singer, hula dancer, musician, and author.
Ka’imi set high goals for himself from a young age. He began playing ukulele at age five, and by age 14, he worked at a professional Halau company performing at lu’aus. He then moved to Oʻahu to attend college at Brigham Young University Hawaii in Laʻie where he graduated with a B.A. in Music (Major) and Hawaiian Studies (Minor) furthering his knowledge with music theory and live sound engineering. He also trained in the Bel Canto vocal style with renowned teacher, Neva Rego.
Kaʻimi has taken everything he’s learned both on and off stage and begun building a solid foundation of a long career in the music industry. A versatile talent, his experience enables him to perform a wide range of material from jazz to Hawaiian to contemporary. Often requested to perform as a soloist, Ka’imi is also known as the energetic lead member of the alternative, rock, and reggae band, “HiRiZ,”. The band was a finalist for a Nā Hōkū Hanohano award in May 2015. Because of his professional background, he has established himself as a solid session musician who can be called upon by other bands to fill in on the spot. When he isn’t playing with HiRiZ or as a solo musician, he is seen playing with Backwards Shaka and the Urchinz. Many artists also trust him with their sound and lighting production needs and often turn to Kaʻimi for help, referring to him as the “invisible musician or bandmate.”
Kaʻimi performs at multiple venues throughout Hawaii as well as at high profile community events including Hui O Ko’olaupoko’s “Mauka to Makai” event, and at Doris Duke Theatre as part of the KoAloha Ukulele’s “Hawaii Nights” concert. To see what Ka’imi is up to, simply go to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (as “kaimi hananoeau” or “#kaimimusic”), and with HiRiZ (as “@hirizmusic”), or check out his latest videos as “Kaʻimi Hananoʻeau” on YouTube.
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Tracy Larrua/Poi Planet