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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Na Hoku's young stars

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Clockwise from top: HOLUNAPE - Nominated in five categories, the group is among this year's top contenders. NATALIE AI KAMAU'U - Scored multiple nominations in this year's Hoku crop. KAUMAKAIWA LOPAKA KANAKA'OLE - Another up-and-comer with multiple nominations tonight. AARON J. SALA - First-time nominee is up for six awards for his "Ka 'Upu Aloha" release.

Advertiser library photos

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Na Leo from left, Nalani Choy, Lehua Kalima Heine and Angela Morales is a well-established act, competing for four awards tonight.

ADVERTISER LIBRARY PHOTO | Aug. 23, 2005

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2006 NA HOKU HANOHANO AWARDS

  • 7:30 tonight

  • KFVE

  • Broadcast live from the Coral Ballroom of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

  • Performances by Hapa, Big Every Time, Kapono Beamer, Angela Morales and Bryan Kessler, Ginai, Sean Na'auao, Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka'ole, Holunape, Kekai Boyz, Natalie Ai Kamau'u, Aaron J. Sala, Jake Shimabukuro, Sonny Lim and Daniel Ho.

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    Kapono Beamer, a veteran of both the Hoku and Grammy nominations, is up for six awards.

    ADVERTISER LIBRARY PHOTO | Jan. 25, 2006

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    Grammys fallout is Na Hoku's gain. An uptick in younger musicians with CDs that fit the criteria for a best Hawaiian music album Grammy is the most notable trend in nominations for tonight's 2006 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards ceremony.

    "There is a growth of a lot of young people playing traditional Hawaiian music," said Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts president Alan Yamamoto. "I don't know if it was because there wasn't as much competition this year from veteran (musicians) ... But I do think that this is where the growth in the (local music) industry is going to come from."

    The Na Hoku Hanohano Awards honor excellence in the local recording arts. The recording academy's 600-plus membership voted for nominees in 19 of 22 Hoku categories featuring recordings released in 2005.

    Winners will be announced tonight at the Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts' annual awards ceremony, in the Hilton Hawaiian Village's Coral Ballroom. KFVE will broadcast the awards ceremony live at 7:30 p.m.

    With fewer discs of new material by best-selling musicians and past Hoku favorites such as Keali'i Reichel, Raiatea Helm and Na Palapalai released last year, CDs by younger musicians recording in traditional Hawaiian music styles moved to the forefront of Hoku nominations.

    First-time nominee Aaron J. Sala scored six nominations for his "Ka 'Upu Aloha Alone With My Thoughts" disc, placing him in a tie for most nods with veterans like Kapono Beamer, Hapa and Sean Na'auao. Still up-and-coming musicians such as Holunape, Natalie Ai Kamau'u and Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka'ole scored similar multiple nominations.

    Hawaiian-language discs are gaining popularity among music buyers largely without the help of local radio, where reggae-tinged, English-language Island contemporary music styles still rule. The so-called "maoli" music movement blending contemporary styles with traditional instrumentation, local subject matter and Hawaiian language is also a growing niche.

    But the growth in nominated works by younger musicians recording in the Hawaiian language likely has as much to do with the now 2-year-old best Hawaiian music album Grammy category, which requires that vocals contain a "predominance" of Hawaiian language for eligibility. This despite the fact that multi-artist slack-key-dominated discs have taken home the Grammy both years.

    "That's part of it," acknowledged Yamamoto of Grammy influence on the trend. "But there's also an increase in (Hoku nominations for) slack-key CDs as well.

    "The Grammys have helped. But I think the interest in (traditional Hawaiian styles) is there ... not just because of the Grammys."

    Yamamoto said that veteran acts can be found this year in more contemporary Hawaiian than traditional Hawaiian Hoku categories. Discs by Beamer, Hapa, Na Leo and Nathan Aweau dominate the contemporary album of the year and contemporary Hawaiian album of the year categories. Additionally, Aweau's 10 nominations, spread across three CDs Hapa's "Maui" and his solo efforts "Bass Etude" and "Hawai'i Classic Series, Vol. 1 Vintage" make him this year's most decorated nominee.

    Here are some other facts about this year's nominations list you'll want to know going into tonight's Na Hoku Hanohano Awards broadcast, along with stuff to look for post-show in the weeks ahead.

  • There are no clear front-runners. Take away Aweau's multitude of nominations and you have five artists nominated for six Hoku (the four mentioned earlier, including Kanaka'ole), two artists nominated for five Hoku (Kamau'u, Holunape) and four artists nominated for four Hoku (Aweau solo, Jack Johnson, Na Leo, Na Pali).

    Reichel's dominating 10 nominations for "Ke'alaokamaile" in 2004? A memory for now.

    Instead, expect all of Hoku's top categories especially male vocalist of the year, group of the year, Hawaiian album of the year and album of the year to be the most competitive they've been in years.

    "It's not one of those years where you can say one (nominee) is going to win everything," said Yamamoto. "I just don't see that happening."

  • Don't expect too many sweeps. Na Palapalai's "Makani 'Olu'olu" CD took home five awards from six nominations in 2003. Reichel took home seven from his 11 nods in 2004. Helm won four Hoku from seven nominations last year for her popular "Sweet & Lovely" disc.

    All were best-selling discs that were clear favorites to win going into awards night.

    "But it's just not (as) clear-cut this year," said Yamamoto, basing that on the so-so individual sales performances of this year's nominees. "Other than Jack (Johnson) who sold a substantial amount of units, there isn't one (large-selling) CD that jumps out from the list."

    Instead, expect a winner list with more than a few surprises, and more single and double award wins.

    "All of the (most-nominated) CDs are doing well. So I think it's going to be pretty even," said Yamamoto.

  • Look for more first-time winners. A dearth of veteran past Hoku winners on the nominations list may result in more artists taking home their first trophies this year.

    Potential first-time winners dominate the female vocalist of the year, reggae album of the year, Hawaiian album of the year and Hawaiian-language performance categories.

    "There's good possibilities for this happening because a lot of these up-and-coming acts really seem to be getting the attention," said Yamamoto of the increased potential for first-time winners.

    The most promising artist category for first-time recordings this year featuring newcomers Holunape, Abe Lagrimas, Jr., Lahaina Grown, Aaron J. Sala and Jasmine Trias is, of course, a given.

  • Expect a larger post-Hoku Awards sales boosts for winners. More nominees with good, but not blockbuster, sales going into awards night means more artists getting substantial sales boosts from the exposure of a Hoku win.

    "I think there will be a lot of people going, 'Wow, I've never really heard this group before' or 'I've seen this CD, but didn't buy it.' That might help with sales for everybody," said Yamamoto. "The potential for that is a lot greater this year."

    WHY SOME ARE MISSING

    Why isn't 2006 best Hawaiian music album Grammy-winner "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 1" nominated in any Hoku categories?

    Released in late 2004, the multi-artist compilation featuring George Kahumoku Jr., Ledward Ka'apana, Cyril Pahinui, Ozzie Kotani, Daniel Ho and others received a Hoku nomination for compilation album of the year in 2005. It lost to "Hula! Big Island Style," produced by first best Hawaiian music album Grammy winner Charles Michael Brotman.

    Why is Jack Johnson's "In Between Dreams" CD nominated only for rock album of the year and not for album of the year or contemporary album of the year?

    Musicians and producers submitting recordings for an album of the year nomination must be Hawai'i residents. O'ahu resident Johnson qualifies, but his Mainland-based producer Mario Caldato Jr. does not. "In Between Dreams" is not nominated for contemporary album of the year because Johnson's label Brushfire Records elected not to submit it for the category.

    COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINATIONS

    Album of the Year: Award to local resident artist and producer

    • " 'E," Natalie Ai Kamau'u (Keko), 'Iolani Kamau'u, Natalie Ai Kamau'u and Dave Tucciarone, producers

    • "He 'Olu," Holunape (Roys Sakuma), Holunape and Charley Lukela, producers

    • "Ka 'Eha Ke Aloha," Sean Na'auao (Poi Pounder), Sean Na'auao, producer

    • "Maui," Hapa (Finn), Nathan Aweau and Barry Flanagan, producers

    • "Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe," Kapono Beamer (Kapono Beamer Enterprises), Kapono Beamer, producer

    Song of the Year: A composer's award. Best achievement in creating a first-time recorded song

    • "All Is Right With Me" by Angela Morales and Bryan Kessler from "Feel the Spirit," Na Leo (Second Twenty)

    • "Good People" by Jack Johnson from "In Between Dreams," Jack Johnson (Brushfire)

    • "Inu I Ka Wai 'Awa'awa" by Carlos Andrade from "Na Pali," Na Pali (Awapuhi)

    • "Ka 'Eha Ke Aloha" by F. Kawaikapuokalani Hewett from "Ka 'Eha Ke Aloha," Sean Na'auao (Poi Pounder)

    • "Ke Aka O Ka Li'ula" by Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka'ole from "Welo," Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka'ole (Mountain Apple)

    Female Vocalist of the Year: Best performance by a female artist

    • 'Anelaikalani, "Completely" (Malie Music)

    • Auntie Ida Keli'i Chun, "Memories of Old Hawai'i" (Hula)

    • Ginai, "Jazz Island" (Black Hawaiian Publishing)

    • Natalie Ai Kamau'u, " 'E" (Keko)

    • MIHANA, "One Little Dream" (IM Recordings)

    • Jasmine Trias, "Jasmine Trias" (Clockwork Entertainment)

    Male Vocalist of the Year: Best performance by a male artist

    • Nathan Aweau, "Hawai'i Classic Series, Vol. 1 Vintage" (Bass Plus Music Arts)

    • Kapono Beamer, "Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe" (Kapono Beamer Enterprises)

    • Jack Johnson, "In Between Dreams" (Brushfire)

    • Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka'ole, "Welo" (Mountain Apple)

    • Sean Na'auao, "Ka 'Eha Ke Aloha" (Poi Pounder)

    Group of the Year: Best performance by a vocal duo or group

    • Ekolu, "Ekolu Music" (Waiehu)

    • Hapa, "Maui" (Finn)

    • Holunape, "He 'Olu" (Roy Sakuma)

    • Na Leo, "Find Harmony" (Second Twenty)

    • Na Pali, "Na Pali" (Awapuhi)

    Most Promising Artist(s) of the Year: Most promising first recording as a featured artist or group

    • Holunape, "He 'Olu" (Roy Sakuma)

    • Abe Lagrimas Sr., "Dimensions" (Pass Out)

    • Lahaina Grown, "Lahaina Grown" (Lahaina Grown)

    • Aaron J. Sala, "Ka 'Upu Aloha - Alone With My Thoughts" (Hula)

    • Jasmine Trias, "Jasmine Trias" (Clockwork Entertainment)

    Favorite Entertainer

    • Nathan Aweau, "Bass Etude" & "Hawai'i Classic Series Vol. 1 Vintage"

    • Ekolu, "Ekolu Music"

    • Hapa, "Maui"

    • Jack Johnson, "In Between Dreams"

    • Ledward Kaapana, "Ki Ho'alu Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar"

    • Sonny Lim, "Slack Key Guitar: The Artistry Of Sonny Lim"

    • Na Leo, "Feel The Spirit"

    • Sean Na'auao, "Ka 'Eha Ke Aloha"

    • Brittni Paiva, "Hear ..."

    • Jake Shimabukuro, "Dragon"

    Hawaiian Album of the Year: Best performance of Hawaiian music.

    • " 'E," Natalie Ai Kamau'u (Keko)

    • "He 'Olu," Holunape (Roy Sakuma)

    • "Ka 'Eha Ke Aloha," Sean Na'auao (Poi Pounder)

    • "Ka 'Upu Aloha - Alone with My Thoughts," Aaron J. Sala (Hula)

    • "Welo," Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka'ole (Mountain Apple)

    Contemporary Album of the Year: Best performance of music in a contemporary style

    • "Feel the Spirit," Na Leo (Second Twenty)

    • "Jasmine Trias," Jasmine Trias (Clockwork Entertainment)

    • "Lifetime Party, Volume 2," Cecilio & Kapono (C&K)

    • "One Little Dream," Mihana (IM Recordings)

    • "Uncut," Inoa'ole (FM)

    Contemporary Hawaiian Album of the Year: Best performance of the music of Hawai'i in the contemporary style

    • "Hana Hou," Keoki Kahumoku and Herb Ohta Jr. (Daniel Ho Creations)

    • "Hawai'i Classics Series Vol. 1 Vintage," Nathan Aweau (Bass Plus Music Arts)

    • "Maui," Hapa (Finn)

    • "Na Pali," Na Pali (Awapuhi)

    • "Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe," Kapono Beamer (Kapono Beamer Enterprises)

    Hawaiian Language Performance: Best performance using the Hawaiian language.

    • Natalie Ai Kamau'u, " 'E" (Keko)

    • Holunape, "He 'Olu" (Roy Sakuma)

    • Aaron J. Sala, "Ka 'Upu Aloha - Alone With My Thoughts" (Hula)

    • Auntie Ida Keli'i Chun, "Memories of Old Hawai'i" (Hula)

    • Ata Damasco, "Pa 'Ina Hou!" (Ululoa)

    • Halau O Kekuhi, "Puka Kama'ehu" (Mountain Apple)

    • Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka'ole, "Welo" (Mountain Apple)

    Haku Mele: A composer's award. Best achievement in creating a new song or chant primarily in the Hawaiian language

    • "Aloha Ha'ena" by Carlos Andrade from "Na Pali," Na Pali (Awapuhi)

    • "E O Kupu'eu Na Pae Moku" by Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka'ole from "Welo," Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka'ole (Mountain Apple)

    • "Ehuehu Mae Nei 'O Manoa" by Kihei de Silva from "Ka 'Upu Aloha  Alone With My Thoughts," Aaron J. Sala (Hula)

    • "Hau'ula" by Lawrence Pau from "Aloha Festivals Falsetto Contest Winners, Vol. 6," Lawrence Pau (Hula)

    • "He Aloha No Ka 'Ukui" by C. Pueo Pata from "Ho'okipa Soundtrack," Cody Pueo Pata (Joyboy)

    • "Ka Nani Kamananui" by Ida Keli'i Chun from "Memories of Old Hawai'i," Auntie Ida Keli'i Chun (Hula)

    • "Punua Polena" by C. Pueo Pata from Ho'okipa Soundtrack," Cody Pueo Pata (Joyboy)

    Compilation Album of the Year: Award to local producer for best performance of newly released material by a minimum of three distinct artists

    • "Aloha Festivals Hawaiian Falsetto Contest Winners, Vol. 6," various artists (Hula); William Baba Alimoot, Steve Kramer and Donald P. Flip McDiarmid III, producers

    • "Aloha With Style ... Romance," various artists (Hawaiian Serenity); Sharlene Oshiro and Associates, producers

    • "Ho'okipa (Soundtrack)," various artists (Joyboy); Ed Joy, Kaniela Joy and Quddus Ajimine, producers

    • "Island Soul Vol. 1," various artists (Island Soul Entertainment); Brett Fovargue, Rob Tsuhako, Vernon Kapua'ala, Damon Williams, Gilbert Emata and Shane Dudoit, producers

    • "Maui Style 2nd Edition," various artists (Lyri-Cool); Lyri-Cool Productions, producer

    Anthology of the Year: Award to local producer for best album of previously released material

    • "Greatest Hawaiian Hits," Peter Moon Band (Kanikapila); Kanikapila Records, producer

    • "Heke Wale No, Only the Best of The Makaha Sons," Makaha Sons (Poki); Kata Maduli, producer

    • "Ho'okena Treasure II: Lei Pulamahia," Ho'okena (Ho'omau); Ho'okena, producer

    • "Kamahiwa: Keali'i Reichel Collection One," Keali'i Reichel (Punahele); Keali'i Reichel, Jim Linkner and Fred Krauss, producers

    • "Master of the Steel Guitar, Vol. One," Jerry Byrd (Cord International/Hana Ola); Harry B. Soria Jr., producer

    Reggae Album of the Year: Best performance of music in a reggae style

    • "Ekolu Music," Ekolu (Waiehu)

    • "Faya!," O-Shen (Sharpnote)

    • "The Girl With the Fishbowl Eyes," Go Jimmy Go (Moon Room)

    • "Heart and Soul," Kekai Boyz (Fearless Hawaiian Enterprises)

    • "Homestead," Panaewa (Vizzun)

    • "Universitile," Big Every Time (Way Out West Enterprises)

    Rock Album of the Year: Best performance of music in a rock style

    • "Chasing Dreams," Inner Session (Immense & Intense)

    • "Dragon," Jake Shimabukuro (Hitchhike)

    • "IN BETWEEN DREAMS," Jack Johnson (Brushfire)

    • "Journey," Mana 'Ohana (Lyri-Cool)

    • "Songs From Haleakala Kitchen," Voodoo Suns (Tripod Music)

    Instrumental Album of the Year: Best instrumental performance

    • "Hawaiian Style 'Ukulele," Troy Fernandez (Neos)

    • "Hear ...," Brittni Paiva (Talmidim)

    • "Ka 'Ukulele Lele," Bryan Tolentino (Side Order)

    • "Ki Ho'alu - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar," Ledward Kaapana (Rhythm & Roots)

    • "Slack Key Guitar: The Artistry of Sonny Lim," Sonny Lim (Palm)

    Jazz Album of the Year: Best performance of music in a jazz style.

    • "Bass Etude," Nathan Aweau (Bass Plus Music Arts)

    • "Hawaiian Man, Nostalgic Journey," Buddy Fo (Fo Wat)

    • "Jazz Island," Ginai (Black Hawaiian Publishing)

    • "Slack Key Jazz," Jeff Peterson (Peterson)

    • "Two for the Road," Bruce Hamada (DonDon)

    Religious Album of the Year: Best performance of religious material

    • "The Cry of Your Heart," Kulani Christian Fellowship (Kulani Christian Fellowship)

    • "Ekalesia Praise," Ekalesia Praise (Ekalesia Praise Church)

    • "Glorify - Live Worship With New Hope Christian Fellowship," New Hope Christian Fellowship (New Hope Christian Fellowship)

    • "Hymns of Hawai'i, Vol. 2," George Kahumoku Jr. and Daniel Ho (Daniel Ho Creations)

    • "Leon & Malia Present Hawaii Kids Praise," Leon & Malia (Haku Mele)

    Christmas Album of the Year: Best performance of music with a Christmas theme.

    • "The Christmas Gift of Aloha," Ohia Cast (Ohia)

    • "Christmas in Hawai'i," Danny Couch (Danny Couch)

    • "A Hawaii Stars Christmas," Hawaii Stars All Stars (GF)

    • "An Old Fashioned Christmas," Opihi Pickers and Friends (Go Aloha Entertainment)

    Graphics: Best album cover design

    • Deby Chock for "Ka 'Upu Aloha — Alone With My Thoughts," Aaron J. Sala (Hula)

    • Jon de Mello, Keith Usher and Dayna Marie Beamer for "Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe," Kapono Beamer (Kapono Beamer Enterprises)

    • Solomon Enos, Barry Flanagan and Scott Johnson for "Maui," Hapa (Finn)

    • Scott Johnson for "Kamahiwa: Keali'i Reichel Collection — One," Keali'i Reichel (Punahele)

    • Preston Maeda for " 'E," Natalie Ai Kamau'u (Keko)

    Engineering: Best achievement in engineering

    • Milan Bertosa for "Welo," Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka'ole (Mountain Apple)

    • Wendell Ching and Tommy Hall for "Maui," Hapa (Finn)

    • Gaylord Holomalia and Kapono Beamer for "Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe," Kapono Beamer (Kapono Beamer Enterprises)

    • Sean Na'auao and Milan Bertosa for "Ka 'Eha Ke Aloha," Sean Na'auao (Poi Pounder)

    • Dr. Trey for "Move," Kanalo (Immense & Intense)

    Liner Notes: Best achievement in album annotation

    • Kapono Beamer for "Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe," Kapono Beamer (Kapono Beamer Enterprises)

    • Tim Mathre for "Hawaiian Classics," various artists (Pumehana)

    • Puakea Nogelmeier, Keali'i Reichel and Fred Krauss for "Kamahiwa: Keali'i Reichel Collection — One," Keali'i Reichel (Punahele)

    • Aaron J. Sala and Annie Inouye for "Ka 'Upu Aloha — Alone With My Thoughts," Aaron J. Sala (Hula)

    • Harry B. Soria Jr. for "Hawai'i's Canary," Linda Dela Cruz (Cord International/Hana Ola)

    Reach Derek Paiva at dpaiva@honoluluadvertiser.com.