It’s rare when an artist arrives on the scene offering a refreshing new spin on a traditional genre of music. Steven Espaniola is that artist. Raised in Aliamanu, Hawai’i and now residing in the California Bay Area, Steven is a self taught multi-instrumentalist Hawaiian artist specializing in Ki Ho'alu (Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar), ‘Ukulele, Upright Bass, and Leo Ki'e Ki'e (Traditional Hawaiian falsetto). Of Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese and Spanish decent, his ethnicity is as diverse as his unique sound which preserves the integrity of the traditional with a flourish of the modern.
His debut recording entitled Ho’omaka, “to begin”, features a mesmerizing collection of traditional and original Hawaiian mele recorded by Na Hoku Hanohano and GRAMMY® Award winning producer Dave Tucciarone. Ho’omaka will be sure to transport the listener to the Hawaii of yesterday with soaring falsetto vocals, nahenahe slack key guitar and rhythmic ‘ukulele. Steven Espaniola’s highly anticipated and critically acclaimed debut album will carry you on a musical journey you won’t soon forget. In 2007, Steven's musical efforts earned him the recognition of "New Artist of the Year" at the Hawaii Music Awards.
His sophomore release entitled Ho’omaopopo (to understand), instantly transports the listener to Hawai’i with lush instrumentation, soaring falsetto vocals and a mix of old standards and modern originals which he co-wrote with friends Keola Donaghy and Puni Patrick. The project features guest artists Bryan Tolentino, Jeff Peterson, Casey Olsen, Matt Sproat (Waipuna) and Kumu Kawika Alfiche. Once again produced by über producer Dave Tucciarone, it is sure to become an instant classic and a favorite in every Hawaiian music collection!
Steven is currently working on his third studio album with Dave which will feature a combination of timeless Hawaiian classics and unforgettable original compositions. With a proven formula for success, Steven will once again team up with friends who have lent their talents on previous projects.
In 2015, Steven was the recipient of the Hawai'i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California’s Kulia I Ka Nu'u Award (strive for the summit) for his contributions in promoting the Aloha Spirit throughout Northern California and beyond.
In recent years, Steven has had the distinct pleasure of performing and teaching at some of the country’s most prestigious ’ukulele festivals including Tunes in the Dunes (Oregon), Reno ’Ukulele Festival (Nevada), San Francisco ’Ukulele Festival (California) and Mighty Uke Day (Michigan). Steven also periodically contributes to ’Ukulele Magazine as a Guest Editor.