The Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts presented its version of the Grammy Awards before a sold-out crowd of 1,040 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center on Oahu.
Capturing the coveted female vocalist of the year award was Napua Greig for her debut album, “Pihana.” Greig is currently on a two-week music tour in Japan, so her mother, recording artist Hulu Lindsey, accepted the Hoku on her behalf.
“I’m happy not only for myself, but for my family and everyone who worked on the project with me,” Greig said via cell phone from Nagano.
Despite Greig’s absence, a group of friends and family attended the award show, including her mother, daughters Kala‘iakea, 8, and Ka‘ilihiwa, 9, and sister Kahulu Maluo-Huber.
“Of course we were all so excited. We were hoping that she would win, but she was up against some really tough ladies — the most beautiful singers in Hawaii — so we could only hope,” Lindsey said of her daughter’s win.
Also vying for female vocalist of the year were Teresa Bright, Amy Hanaiali‘i, Raiatea Helm and Ku‘uipo Kumukahi.
No stranger to awards and accolades, Keali‘i Reichel earned music video DVD of the year for “Kukahi — Live in Concert.” A first-time winner in this category, Reichel will add this honor to his multiple Na Hoku awards. Since releasing his “Kawaipunahele” debut album in 1994, his recordings now total 30 Na Hoku Hanohano awards, along with a Grammy nomination.
“To be considered and recognized is always an honor, especially with (Na Hoku Hanohano) awards, because it’s from your peers. Anytime you get that nod of approval is a good thing,” Reichel said, via cell phone moments before catching a plane back to Maui.
Shot with high-definition cameras at Honolulu’s Blaisdell Concert Hall, the performance features Reichel along with his dance troupe Halau Ke‘alaokamaile, plus special guests Keali‘i Ceballos and Ben Vegas. Venturing into multimedia is an avenue to a wider audience, Reichel said.
“We’re in a society now where it’s a little more challenging to keep people’s attention, and having that visual is another
way to do that. . . . We’ve always tried to stay on the cutting edge of technology, whether it’s creating a DVD or anything else.”
Maui girl Amy Hanaiali‘i, who now resides on Molokai, captured the Christmas album of the year award for “A Hawaiian Christmas.” Hanaiali‘i is another Na Hoku Hanohano veteran who has collected awards in several categories throughout her career. She also has gained national recognition for her ha‘i (falsetto) sounds and was nominated for a Grammy in the best Hawaiian music album category.
“Every award is special in its own way because they represent different times in your own life,” Hana-
iali‘i said, adding that she recorded her Christmas album over the course of one week at a beach house in Haleiwa.
“A Hawaiian Christmas” features songs that were part of Hanaiali‘i’s childhood celebrations on Maui.
“When I was a little girl we used to go to Kupaianaha Church (on Waiale Road in Wailuku) and sing in Hawaiian there. . . . I have great memories from that time,” she said.
Another Maui boy, Cody Pueo Pata, was honored with the haku mele Hoku for composing “Mili‘opua” from his debut “He Aloha . . . “ album. The category recognizes achievement in creating a new song or chant primarily in the Hawaiian language.
Pata is currently on tour with Napua Greig and was unable to accept the award in person. Laurie Rohrer of his production company, Ululoa Productions, accepted it on his behalf.
“That award is one of two that are for Hawaiian performance. . . . You have to have certain skills to haku mele,” said Pata, via cell phone from Nagano. “It’s a prize that just about any cultural practitioner would have loved to win.”
Pata noted that his work had been nominated in the haku mele category in the past, but this year marks his first win.
“Since 2001, I’ve never
been able to break through, but this time around I worked extra hard to put all
the information together for the judges,” he said.
“This is so wonderful, and it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
KHNL and KFVE Program Director Dan Schmidt confirmed that due to a mechanical failure, television and online viewers throughout the state lost audio and visual signals about 30 minutes into the award airing.
The problem lasted for nearly an hour before returning to normal.
The program was rebroadcast immediately following Tuesday’s live show and will air again at 5:30 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday on KFVE, Channel 5.
• Lehia Apana can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2008 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards
• Favorite entertainer of the year: Hoku Zuttermeister, “Aina Kupuna” (Kaleiola)
• Hawaiian album of the year: “Aina Kupuna,” Hoku Zuttermeister (Kaleiola)
• Male vocalist of the year: Hoku Zuttermeister, for “Aina Kupuna” (Kaleiola)
• Female vocalist of the year: Napua Greig, “Pihana” (Pihana)
• Group of the year: Maunalua for “Ho‘okanaka” (Lokahi)
• Compilation album of the year: “Aloha Slack Key - A Tribute to Gabby “Pops” Pahinui,” Various Artists (Hula Records)
• Album of the year: “The Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Presents — Na Lani Eha,” Ku’uipo Kumukahi (Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame); Dr. Isaac Akuna, Karen Aiu, Ku’uipo Kumukahi & Steve Kramer, producers
• Hawaiian language performance: Hoku Zuttermeister, “Aina Kupuna” (Kaleiola)
• Most promising artist(s) of the year: Hoku Zuttermeister, “Aina Kupuna” (Kaleiola)
• Contemporary album of the year: “One of These Days,” John Cruz (Liliko‘i)
• Island music album of the year: “He‘eia,” Cyril Pahinui (Dancing Cat)
• Music video DVD of the year: “Ku‘ikahi — Live in Concert,” Keali’i Reichel (Punahele)
• Instrumental album of the year: “Pure Slack Key,” Jeff Peterson (Peterson)
• Christmas album of the year: “A Hawaiian Christmas,” Amy Hanaiali‘i (Tiki Man)
• Anthology of the year: “Bill Ali‘iloa Lincoln, Hawaii’s Falsetto Poet,” Bill Ali‘iloa Lincoln (Cord International Hana Ola); Harry B. Soria, Jr., producer
• Song of the year: “Ka Lehua ‘Ula” by Weldon Kekauoha from “Ka Lehua ‘Ula” (‘Ohelo)
• Religious album of the year: “Redeemed,” Gary Haleamau (GSK)
• R&B/hip-hop album of the year: “More Than Just a Song,” Nigel Kauanui
• Reggae album of the year: “From The Heart,” Natural Vibrations (Natural Vibrations)
• Jazz album of the year: “For All We Know,” Joy Abbott & Betty Lou Taylor (Ladybug)
• Rock album of the year: “Where You Are,” Koa (Firestarter)
• Comedy album of the year: “Hawaii, I Love It,” Frank De Lima (Pocholinga)
• Haku mele: Cody Pueo Pata for “Mili‘opua” from “He Aloha.”
• Graphics: Stacey Leong Design, for the “Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Presents – Na Lani Eha,” Ku’uipo Kumukahi (Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame)
• Engineering: Dave Tucciarone, for “Hawaiian Blossom,” Raiatea Helm (Raiatea Helm)
• Liner notes: Robert Uluwehi Cazimero for “Aina Kupuna,” Hoku Zuttermeister (Kaleiola)
• Lifetime achievement awards: The Brothers Cazimero, Olomana, Cyrus Green, Jimmy Borges, Edna Pualani Beckeart
Napua Greig won the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for female vocalist of the year.