This week we listen to young ‘ukulele virtuoso and extraordinaire Kalei Gamiao. Since picking up the ‘ukulele at the age of thirteen, Kalei has taken the ‘ukulele around the world with his masterful technique and compositions. One of the the elements of his playing that resonates with me is his tone. He has a signature sound that references his heroes yet doesn’t directly or blandly copy them. He also writes his own music including 2 solo albums named Contemporary Ukulele and Redefined. Not to mention one of the most humble musicians, to see/hear Kalei play in any situation is a treat.
Here we have Kalei playing an original song titled The Unknown. With choice open chord voicings and a wide array of techniques he creates a beautiful piece reminisce of some Jake Shimabukuro’s solo work. Kalei slowly builds the song with some strumming flare (take a look at the wrist and the blur that is his fingers!). A beautiful strumming crescendo finishes off the piece as he slowly controls the ending with ease.
Kalei is being featured on a web/TV program called HiSessions. If you haven’t checked them out, you definitely should! With high resolution cameras and quality audio they have been cataloging many great musicians, many of which are from Hawai’i. You can see more of their videos here!
UkePrints is a curated playlist of some essential ukulele tracks that all ukulele player should listen to. These songs have left a legacy for future players and in essence, sound impressions of the ‘ukulele or what I like to call them: UkePrints.