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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, September 29, 2008

Slack-key added to Na Hoku Awards

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

A new ki ho'alu (slack-key guitar) category will be launched when the 2009 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards are held next spring. The board of governors of the Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts voted earlier this year to establish a Best Slack Key Album for the 2009 ballot.

The contenders for this category could feature vocals with slack-key accompaniment or strictly instrumental performances of ki ho'alu, with basic requirements of 75 percent slack-key instrumentation for vocals in the slack-key mode and 75 percent of vocal tracks sung in Hawaiian.

The move, in part, has been triggered by the wealth of slack-key albums recorded every year and possibly a reaction to the dominance of slack-key CDs copping the Hawaiian Music Grammy Award conducted by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

The competing Hawaii Music Awards, which conducts online voting worldwide, already has a slack-key category and is currently soliciting nominations for its 2009 awards event April 4 at Mamiya Theatre. Prospective candidates may register their entries through Dec. 31 at www.hawaiimusicawards.com.

HARA officials are tweaking entry criteria for Male Vocalist, Female Vocalist and Group of the Year, scrutinizing and restricting eligibility due to membership concerns. For details, go to www.nahokuhanohano.org.

HARA also is holding its annual general membership meeting Nov. 11 at The Willows, with a buffet lunch at 11 a.m. followed by a noon meeting, when a new board of governors will be installed. For reservations, call 593-9242.

Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com.