known for his work in the musical group Olomana, singer/songwriter
Jerry Santos has been a familiar presence on the Hawaii music scene
for almost four decades.
The youngest in a family of nine children he was born and raised
on the windward side of O’ahu. Jerry attended Kane’ohe
Elementary, Benjamin Parker Elementary and Waiahole Elementary Schools.
Entering in the seventh grade, he went on to graduate from The Kamehameha
Schools and has attended The University of Hawaii and Kapi’olani
Like most island children, music was always a part of everyday family
life. He started with the ukulele and by the 4th grade; he had won
his first talent show. All through his formative years, he sang
whenever the opportunity presented itself. From his first solo professional
gig at the age of 18, Jerry has gone on to establish himself as
a singer and song writer. After a few years of playing the clubs
in Honolulu and a brief stint in California, he returned home to
team up with Robert Beaumont in1974 to form the group Olomana. He
helped to create a unique and easily recognizable musical style,
blending Hawaiian music with contemporary rhythms. Over the years
he has had the opportunity, as a soloist or with Olomana, to perform
his music all over Hawai’i, the continental USA, Canada, Japan
and other Pacific Island Nations. He has performed his music with
The Honolulu symphony, The Honolulu City Ballet and The Hawaii Youth
His work has been recognized by the Hawai’i musical community
with numerous awards. Amongst them are awards for male vocalist,
for composition, and for both traditional and contemporary Hawaiian
music. Honolulu Magazine named Olomana’s first recording,
“Like a Seabird in the Wind”, #11 on their list of the
Top 50 Albums of all time and Jerry’s signature song “Ku’u
Home O Kahalu’u” was voted #7 on the top 50 Songs of
all time. Olomana was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award
by The Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts for their body of
work over the years.
Jerry is perhaps most honored by his Moe Keale; Aloha is Award,
an award that acknowledges a performer’s contributions to
his community. Over the years he and Olomana have lent their support
to hula halau, civic clubs, community organizations, local and national
charities, and have used their visibility to bring attention to
issues that are important to our island home. The importance of
sharing between the generations and having respect for our home
and our people has played an important role in carrying the music
to all parts of Hawaii from Kaho’olawe to Kalaupapa, from
Hawai’i to Kaua’i.
Numerous island artists including The Brother’s Cazimero,
Na Leo Pilimehana, Hapa, Don Ho, Melveen Leed, The Hui Ohana and
Henry Kapono, have recorded his compositions. Jerry has also had
the privilege of appearing and recording with artists like The Makaha
Sons, Keola Beamer, Marlene Sai, Sean Na’auao, Henry Kapono,
Frank Hewett, Del Beazley, and others.
He has appeared in a number of television specials including KGMB’s
“Island Music, Island Hearts”, Public Television’s
“Na Mele” series, K-5’s “Hot Hawaiian Nights”,
KITV’s “Mixed Plate in Portugal” and “Mixed
Plate at Mardi Gras” with Pamela Young, “Slack Key and
Other Notes” with Ron Jocobs and PBS’s “Hawaiian
Rainbow”. He has appeared in videos for the Honolulu Board
of Water Supply, “Xeriscape” and The Moanalua Gardens
Foundation’s “Flowing to The Sea”.
Besides his musical contributions, Jerry has also added his voice
to the need for water conservation and over the years his television
and radio commercials have become very familiar to listeners, urging
them to “E malama i ka wai”, cherish the water.
Whether performing as a soloist, or with his group Olomana, Jerry
Santos generates music from the heart with Aloha!