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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 10, 2006

Five to receive HARA's 'Lifetime' awards

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Dick Jensen

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Leila Kiaha

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Palani Vaughan

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The Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts will honor five music-industry veterans with Lifetime Achievement Awards in a luncheon event March 12 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom.

The honorees are:

  • Dick Jensen, known as The Giant in the heyday of his performing career. His shows have been staged in Waikiki and in Las Vegas. He is a previous Na Hoku Hanohano Award honoree and last year earned a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars.

  • Leila Kiaha, an organist, musical and choral arranger, pianist and director, who died Jan. 16. The posthumous award also will recognize her work with such local acts as Brother Noland, Tony Conjugacion and Kawai Cockett.

  • George Naope, a founder of the Merrie Monarch Festival hula competition. He is a recording artist, kumu hula and noted chanter.

  • Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta, legendary 'ukulele wizard with dozens of albums distributed locally, nationally and internationally. He also is a previous Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner.

  • Palani Vaughan, authority on the music of King Kalakaua. He is a Hoku-winning recording artist, producer and composer.

    The luncheon begins at 11 a.m. with a no-host cocktail reception. Lunch will be at 11:30 a.m., followed by the awards program with entertainment. The event will be taped for inclusion in the live televised broadcast of the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards show in May.

    Tickets: $85 and $60. Call 235-9424.

    Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com.