Kalae was born and raised in Waimānalo on the island of Oʻahu. Finding his musical voice at an early age, Kalae performed with the Honolulu Boy Choir, the Keiki Music School and the Hawaiʻi Children’s Opera Chorus.
Upon graduating from Lahainaluna High School Boarding Program in 1987, Kalae enrolled at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa Campus in Honolulu. He earned his Bachelorʻs degree in Music with an emphasis on operatic vocal technique and a minor in the Hawaiian language.
In 1995, Kalae was awarded a grant by the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to study falsetto with one of Hawaiʻi’s most respected falsetto singers, the late Richard Hoʻopiʻi, eventually becoming Richard’s honorary protégé. Kalae also studied voice and ‘ukulele under the legendary Kahauanu Lake of the Kahauanu Lake Trio, one of Hawaiʻi’s most well-known and internationally loved Hawaiian musicians and song composers.
Fluent in his native tongue, Kalae taught at the Hawaiian Language Immersion School, Ke Kula Kaiapuni O Anuenue. Based in Honolulu, the entire curriculum is conducted in the Hawaiian language with daily instruction relying heavily on Hawaiian culture. Says Kalae, “As a native Hawaiian, it is my kuleana (responsibility) and I am committed to educate and to perpetuate my heritage through the music of Hawaiʻi and through our native tongue.”
Kalae worked as a musician in Japan for several years, including regular performances at Tokyo Disneyland, and Manza Beach Resort (Okinawa). He has toured internationally in Venice, Italy and Pusan, Korea. He is soon to be conducting hula workshops in Mexico City as well.
In 2008, Kalae released his long-awaited debut album entitled “Hoʻopono”. The album shares with listeners traditional, contemporary and original Hawaiian mele (songs) through Kalae’s unique musical world view.
In 2005, Kalae left his beloved homeland and teaching career to make a go at life in Santa Cruz, California. Kalae has spent much of the last several years being a stay-at-home parent to two beautiful boys. More recently, Kalae is back to performing and teaching both in Santa Cruz and throughout the Greater Bay Area.