for his work in the musical group Olomana,
singer/songwriter Jerry Santos has been a familiar presence on the Hawaii
music scene for almost five 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 Community
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 Symphony.
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
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!