By Vanessa Wolf
This Saturday at 6 p.m. celebrate the best of this year’s Hawaiian music with performances from the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winners.
The artists were chosen and announced by the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts in May.
This 3rd annual Nā Hōkū Hou concert will be held in the MACC’s Yokouchi Pavilion and features Melveen Leed, Amy Hanaiali’i, Mana’o Company and Na Hoa (comprised of Ikaika Blackburn, Halehaku Seabury, and Keoni Souza) and Kamakakehau Fernandez.
Melveen Leed is a “grande dame” of island music, covering musical genres as varied as country, jazz and Hawaiian. The former Miss Moloka’i is known for her solo performances as well as her work with the Local Divas (additionally comprised of Carole Kai, Loyal Garner, and Nohelani Cypriano).
Maui’s Amy Hanaiali‘i won two Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards this year. As a result, one of Hawaii’s top-selling female vocalists now has 21 awards to her name. This alumna of Baldwin High and Maui Academy of Performing Arts has also been nominated for several Grammy Awards. Hanaiali’i has become especially well known for her vocal skills in female ha‘i (Hawaiian falsetto singing), in which she was tutored by the beloved Aunty Genoa Keawe.
Na Hoa will also be performing on Saturday night. Comprised of Maui’s Ikaika Blackburn, as well as Halehaku Seabury and Keoni Souza, the group won four awards this year – Most Promising Artist, Album of the Year, Hawaiian Music Album of the Year, and Group of the Year – for their debut release Na Hoa. Their music has been described as “sweet falsetto singing depicting a nostalgic era in Hawaiian music history, with vibrant voices that captivate one’s emotions, ears, and heart.”
Kamakakehau Fernandez , also from Maui, is a graduate of the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program at Kula Kaiapuni, and King Kekaulike High School. New on the scene, his release won the Nā Hōkū for best Extended Play (EP) of the Year.
Lastly, Mana’o Company won the award for Anthology of the Year for their collection Twenty Years of Mana‘o Company.
A band with (obviously) a two decade history, they are known for their contemporary Hawaiian music hits “Drop Baby Drop” and “96 Degrees in the Shade.”
Fans or those simply curious about contemporary Hawaiian music are certain to get both their fill and a real-time education from the performances Saturday evening.
Tickets are $25 for standard seats, $45 for reserved table seating, and $75 for an exclusive VIP package.
Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (@mauinow.com)