Kealoha is the first Poet Laureate of Hawai`i. As an internationally acclaimed poet and storyteller, he has performed throughout the world — from the White House to the `Iolani Palace, from Brazil to Switzerland. He is the first poet in Hawai`i’s history to perform at a governor’s inauguration, and in 2010 he was selected as a master artist for a National Endowment for the Arts program. In the 7 years that he has represented Hawai`i at the National Poetry Slam, he has performed on the finals stage 4 times, was ranked in the top ten of the nation’s best poets in 2007, and was honored as a “National Slam Legend” in 2010. Kealoha was featured on HBO’s Brave New Voices series presented by Russel Simmons, and he has performed at hundreds of live venues throughout the world including the Schiffbau (Zurich, Switzerland), the Bienal do Ibirapuera (Sao Paulo, Brazil), the NFL Pro Bowl halftime show, and the National Storytelling Network Conference. He is the poetic vocalist for Henry Kapono’s “Wild Hawaiian” project (nominated for a Grammy), and has served as Hawai`i’s SlamMaster since 2003. Kealoha is the founder of HawaiiSlam, Youth Speaks Hawai`i (2-Time International Champions), and First Thursdays (the largest registered poetry slam in the world with 500+ in attendance). He graduated with honors from MIT with a degree in Nuclear Physics (and a minor in writing), served as a business consultant in San Francisco, and played around as a surf instructor prior to becoming a professional poet in 2002.
Taimane picked up ‘ukulele at the age of five and began performing. While playing on the streets of Waikiki with beach boys backing her up, Taimane was discovered by legendary Hawaiian crooner Don Ho. Her playing style is unique and she has the ability to morph genres—from classical to classic rock to flamenco—always without missing a beat, literally.
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