Kaumakaiwa brings to the stage an immense talent as a singer, chanter, and dancer as well as a deep understanding of her Hawaiian culture and her place as a modern, transgender (mahu wahine) Hawaiian in this contemporary world. She seamlessly melds Hawaiian culture and modern sensibilities, with songs that draw from ancient ‘oli (chant) traditions, contemporary melodies, and original mele (lyrics), in deeply powerful music. With plenty of humor, she often provides wry commentary and stories to give context to her songs. She was recently honored with an NACF (Native Arts & Cultures Foundation) Fellowship Award.
A remarkable and riveting performer, Kaumakaiwa has been on stage since she could walk. She is charismatic, with a vocal range from tenor chant to Hawaiian falsetto singing is impressive. She navigates easily between Hawaiian and western cultures, taking delighted audiences along on the journey. With five Nā Hōkū Hanohano (Hawaiian Grammy) awards, Kaumakaiwa was the first Hawaiian performer to appear at the prestigious indigenous cultures festival The Dreaming in Australia; and the first Hawaiian performer to appear at globalFEST in New York.