“Redefined” is ukulele like you’ve never heard it! At the forefront of today's ukulele revolution is Kalei Gamiao, touting licks more like a super group guitarist than your typical ukulele strummer. This Hawaii Music Award winner's modern cutting edge style has expanded the ukulele’s reach well beyond its musical boundaries. Kalei Gamiao’s innovative ukulele arrangements mixed with a fusion of jazz, rock, pop, classical and world music are sheer genius when you consider the limitations of this simple four-stringed instrument. His renditions of Bill Withers’ classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine,” the popular “Office Theme,” and Jon Forman’s “Only Hope,” showcase his flawless technique while originals like the brilliant “2011”, “Four String Fury” and “Mach 4” demonstrate his power to transform and redefine the ukulele as we know it.
“Kalei Gamiao's music and 'ukulele prowess will take the 'ukulele to new heights!”
I am startled by the talent of this young man from Haleiwa, HI. I'm an avid ukulele player and own many CDs from ukulele "stars", but few shine as brightly as Kalei. Although the best instrumentalists rocket to the top of the international charts, such as the brilliant Jake Shimabukuro, there are many that are "just under the radar", rockets ready to launch. Kalei is the best of that group.
His sound is modern and flowing. His hits, like "The Unknown" or "Mach 4", are repeatedly listenable. Many ukulele players cover Kalei's hit songs, but few master the tempo and skill of the original artist. The fact that Kalei writes his own music makes him a talent to be reckoned with. All instrumental, all gorgeous.
I encourage you to listen to the samples below. Additionally, Kalei has plenty of videos showcasing his talent online, just search his name. The new CD is more subdued than his past disc...the songs are more melancholy, more mature. There is no major uptempo tune, like "Flow" from the 2008 release. This album is more wine and roses, the last more samba and bossa nova. Each shines in its own right.
This is not your typical ukulele instrumental CD, however Kalei has done an excellent job blending his ukulele style with the other instruments to make you feel like you're in an orchestra. There are many great songs in this CD yet my favorite song on this CD is Only Hope because of its pureness, rawness, and the soothing qualities of the ukulele. Over all, this CD is very well crafted! Keep up the great work Kalei and maybe one day I'll be an Ah May Zing beast like you. Take care!