Kahilu Theatre presents Grammy Award winner Kalani Peʻa

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If music is an outburst of the soul, then soul music is a category five eruption.

If music is an outburst of the soul, then soul music is a category five eruption.

On Saturday, Kahilu Theatre in Waimea presents 2017 Grammy Award winner Kalani Pe‘a, who will bring his original musical fusion of Hawaiian, soul music and R&B to the stage with special guest performers Halau Ka’eaikahelelani.

Pe‘a, who currently resides on Maui, made history by being the first Hawaiian recording artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music for his debut album, “E Walea.” Three months later, he also took home the Na Hoku Award for the same album, making him the first artist ever to win both prestigious awards for the same album.

Born and raised in Hilo, Pe‘a is looking forward to returning home for his performance at Kahilu.

“I’m excited to be back home on the Big Island,” said Pe‘a. “I call Waimea the ‘piko’ — the center where we come together from Hilo and Kona. I’m blessed I’m able to perform in Waimea and be a part of the music series. I’m also blessed to be collaborating with the theater and be part of the series as a new artist. I was born and raised in Hilo and I’m now on Maui. I love Maui — we say, ‘Maui no e ka ‘oi’ — Maui is the best. But I tell everyone Hawaii is better. Big Island is way better. I’m happy to come back home and performing.”

Pe‘a feels it is important to perpetuate the Hawaiian language through music and visual arts. His album title, “E Walea,” means to come together like birds, be elated, exuberant and enjoy.

“I’m a Hawaiian contemporary soul artist,” he said. “I’m all about creativity and innovation. I’m the guy who will put on a bow tie with a suit and wear it with shorts and my high tops. It’s OK to be contemporary, but how do we continue to perpetuate the culture of our ancestors to ensure the passing of those values to our younger generation? That is my goal, to share who I am, to share my Hawaiian identity with the world and instill it in the minds of our younger generation.”

Pe‘a’s voice is buttery and soulful, reflecting the many musical genres that influenced him as a child.

“Being in Hawaii, we are in a pot of diverse cultures,” he said. “I’m very grateful I was brought up listening to a variety of music and looking up to people like Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston and (Luciano) Pavarotti. I think because our Hawaiian children are living in the modern world, many of them want to learn who they are so through music. There’s a purpose behind everything in my songs. There’s metaphor and poetry and love of Hawaii, love of our land, love of our people. That is what I want to share.”

“There’s only a handful of us who are speaking Hawaiian, dancing hula and perpetuating our art in a way that is traditional,” said Pe’a. “However, we are modern Hawaiians now, so we need to find a way to be innovative and creative and push the envelope. A Grammy is a prestigious award, but it doesn’t define who I am. My music defines who I am. The music allows me to soar in the sky and sing my heart out. It gives me happiness.”

Kalani Pe’a performs at 7 p.m. at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea. Tickets are sold out.

Info: Visit www.kalanipeamusic.com.