featured graphic for We are Samoa diamond gala

Gala to support Pacific Islander community and celebrate Legendary Sāmoan musician Jerome Fa’anānā Grey

The We Are Sāmoa Diamond Gala is taking place on Saturday, March 26 in Costa Mesa, California, to celebrate 75 years of the Orange County-based legendary Sāmoan musician, Jerome Fa’anānā Grey, and to support the Pacific Islander community. Jerome Grey penned the song “We Are Sāmoa” – the unofficial anthem for the country – and now his children, many of them Mater Dei High School alums, Loa (vocalist and lead guitarist with FAIVA), Sisa (singer and actress: Grey’s Anatomy, Hawaii 5-0, NCIS Las Vegas), Ana (business owner) and Mata (lead guitarist in the band Common Kings) want to honor him through giving back.

Living and growing up between their native Sāmoa and their home in Orange County, the family is in the beginning stages of filing for a non-profit, so for the gala they’ve partnered with the National Pacific Islander Education Network to bring their vision to life. The We Are Sāmoa Gala’s purpose is to raise funds to benefit three initiatives, which were inspired by the family’s story. Supporting the Pacific Islander community, the funds will go to academic scholarships, performing arts scholarships (The Jerome Grey Performing Arts Fund) and in honor of their mother whom they lost to diabetes in 2019, the third initiative will raise funds for diabetes and heart disease outreach.

The We Are Sāmoa Gala will celebrate Polynesian culture and bring together community members from near and far to celebrate Jerome Fa’anānā Grey through the art of music, dance, painting and fashion. The Gala will feature nonstop entertainment with an impressive lineup of artists performing in the tribute show including the award-winning Shawn Ishimoto and Lea Love, along with Lapi Mariner, Reno Ano’ai, Gary King, and FAIVA. Award-winning dance groups include TUPUA Productions, TAMA’ITA’I Academy, Hula ‘Olena and many more. The tribute show will also feature the debut of a new Polynesian-inspired high-end fashion line by designer Nancy Elizabeth, and a live painting demonstration of a piece inspired by The National Pacific Islander Education Network and We Are Sāmoa Gala by Sāmoan artist and muralist Jason Pereira, which will be available to bid on in a live auction. Guests will enjoy Sāmoan-infused dishes made by Chef Dino Meredith before the main events.

Event Details
Starting the night off with an elegant Polynesian-inspired red carpet entrance, guests will enter into the cocktail hour with lush greenery and touches of island culture reminiscent of the traditional Sāmoan islands. The cocktail hour will feature delectable bites inspired by traditional Sāmoan cuisine, elevated with a modern twist to the haunting yet romantic chants of old Sāmoa and a silent auction. After cocktail hour, a grand welcoming will escort guests into the main ballroom with a traditional Sāmoan greeting featuring drums and conch shells.

This article was released by the National Pacific Islander Education Network.
Celebrate 75 years of the Orange County-based legendary Sāmoan musician, Jerome Fa'anānā Grey (pictured), and support the Pacific Islander community at the We are Sāmoa gala. Courtesy photo.
Celebrate 75 years of the Orange County-based legendary Sāmoan musician, Jerome Fa’anānā Grey (pictured), and support the Pacific Islander community at the We are Samo gala. Courtesy photo.