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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, June 2, 2006

Hoku awards reflect music scene's riches

 •  Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners

What does Hawai'i sound like? It's a 'ukulele, a slack-key guitar and so much more. This year's Na Hoku Hanohano Awards revealed Hawaiian music is as rich and diverse as it gets, with sounds that are at once contemporary and loyal to our Island roots.

It's a unique sound that makes for a vibrant local music scene that the Na Hoku Awards joyfully celebrate each year.

Other locales have their music awards (like San Francisco's Bay Area Music Awards, known as the Bammies), but they really don't compare with our Na Hoku Awards.

Sure, San Francisco may claim and honor the Jefferson Airplane, Santana or Green Day, but those groups could have sprung up anywhere.

Not so with the winners of the Na Hoku awards. Just listen to Hapa's "Maui," awarded album of the year, or to Holunape, the group of the year, and it's unmistakable: That music could not have been made anyplace else but Hawai'i.

The strong connection to an indigenous culture makes Hawaiian music so distinctive. Even as it evolves, the sounds are imbued with a richness that reflects a diversity and sense of place.

It's easy to take homegrown music for granted. We've heard it all our lives from the backyards in Kalihi to Kihei and everywhere else.

But this year's awards are a reminder that the very best of it truly is world class.

You know the saying, "Lucky you live Hawai'i"? We're lucky to be surrounded by its sound.