Mauians recipients of Na Hoku honors

Maui native Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom took home two awards at Saturday night’s 2013 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Hailed as Hawaii’s top-selling female singer of all time, she was named Female Vocalist of the Year and her album “My Father’s Granddaughter” was named Contemporary Album of the Year.

“You know, I’m a huge supporter for Hawaii music and I was playing at the Smithsonian during the awards so i couldn’t be there,” she said in a phone interview Sunday from Washington, D.C. “So it was kind of a bittersweet thing for me, but of course I’m honored to receive this from my fellow entertainers.”

Other Mauians receiving awards included Kamakakehau Fernandez, who won Extended Play of the Year for his album “Wahi Mahalo,” and Kenneth Martinez Burgmaier, who won Compilation Album of the Year for his joint-production of the CD “Lana’i Slack Key Festival: Live Kiho’alu At Ko’ele.”

Gilliom has now won 21 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, known as the Hawaiian equivalent of the Grammy Awards, including five for Female Vocalist of the Year.

Released in 2012, her award-winning album was dedicated to her father, Lloyd Gilliom, who “helped to shape her outlook on life.”

“In the middle of recording this production I suffered the loss of my father,” she said. “I am where I am in my career because of the hard work of my father. The songs on this album brings me back to lullabies sung by my father and his mother, Jennie Napua Woodd.

“A year has passed and I still miss him and his guidance. These awards are dedicated to my father and to all who have come before me and (on) whose shoulders I stand.”

Makawao resident Burg-maier led a team of producers including Dave Lower of Lahaina, Kevin Brown of Waiehu and Benny Uyetake of Haiku on their way to their award.

The CD was a live recording of various artists playing at a free slack key festival at the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele, last year.

“I’ll tell you what, the competition we were going up against . . . they were some pretty well-known and respected producers,” Burgmaier said in a phone interview Sunday. “There were five of us in there, and we weren’t sure if we were going to win. But when we went to our table to sit down, lo and behold they called our name.

“It was a very happy and exciting feeling, and we were, like, wow. . . . I’m so happy for all of the people in Lanai because this is the first time Lanai has won an award in the 36 years they’ve had these awards.”

The idea for the CD came to the group on the ferry ride to Lanai for the festival, he said. Burgmaier had done a festival at the hotel before and gave a DVD to the artists who would be playing at the festival.

“The were all blown away at how clean the sound was,” he said. “We were talking and (artist) Jon Keawe turns to me and said maybe we should do a live CD. It all came together after that in 60 days . . . all because of a little ferry ride from Lahaina to Lanai. It’s funny how things can happen.”

* Chris Sugidono can be reached at