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Finalists Named for 2017 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards

Posted April 17, 2017, 02:21 PM HST Updated April 17, 2017, 03:11 PM HST
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The votes are in. And the finalists for this year’s 40th Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards include the best and brightest among Hawaiʻi’s music scene.

Kalani Peʻa. Photo Courtesy Of Vision Horse Media / Adam Palumo

On this year’s ballot are the top five artists, singles or albums in 34 different categories selected by the more than 600 members of the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts.

Grammy Winning Maui artist Kalani Peʻa is up for Male Vocalist of the Year, Most Promising Artists of the Year and Album of the Year for his debut release E Walea.

Amy Hānaialiʻi, Raʻiātea Helm and Mailani are among those being considered for Female Vocalist of the Year; and Keauhou, Komakakino, Ron Kualaau & Zanuck Lindsey, Kūpaoa and A Touch of Gold are in the running for Group of the Year.

Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. PC: 2016 courtesy file image.

Winners for each category will be revealed on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the 40th Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. Tickets start at $175 for General Admission, $150 for Kamaʻāina and are $250 for Premium Seats. To purchase call (808) 593.9424 or visit www.nahokuhanohano.org/.

“This year’s Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards is one that no one will want to miss as we celebrate four decades honoring the very best in Hawaiʻi music,” said Pali Kaʻaihue, president of the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts. “Our team has been working for months to put together a special line up of performances that we feel honors the beautiful history of Hawaiʻi’s music and those who have contributed to bringing it to the level of excellence that it enjoys today.”

A complete list of the 2017 Nā Hōkū Hanohano finalists are included below:

GENERAL CATEGORIES

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

• AMY HĀNAIALI‘I, REMEMBERING NAPUA (Ua Records)
• RA‘IĀTEA HELM, HE LEO HUALI, “A PURE VOICE” (Ra‘iātea Helm Records)
• MAGGIE HERRON, BETWEEN THE MUSIC & THE MOON (Herron Song Records)
• MAILANI, ALO I KE ALO (Hā Enterprises)
• YOZA, PROLOGUE (Yoza Music)

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

• KEAUHOU, KEAUHOU (Keauhou)
• KOMAKAKINO, E NIPO MAI (The Lāhui Project)
• RON KUALAAU & ZANUCK LINDSEY, KOKO (Kapala Music Group)
• KŪPAOA, HO‘OKELE (Hulu Kūpuna Productions)
• TOUCH OF GOLD, A, WHENEVER YOU COME AROUND (Kuleana Breakfast Club)

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

• KAWIKA KAHIAPO, UKE CAN CALL ME COUSIN (Pono Records)
• CYRIL PAHINUI, HI‘ILAWE (Pahinui Productions)
• KALANI PE‘A, E WALEA (Kalani Pe‘a Music)
• JOSH TATOFI, PUA KIELE (Bu-Print Records)
• HŌKŪ ZUTTERMEISTER, KU‘U PUA SAKURA (Kaleiola Records)

Most Promising Artist of the Year – Most promising first-recorded effort as a featured artist or group. Tie in vote.

• AJA GAMPLE, HUA‘I (Aja Gample)
• IZIK, OBSIDIAN (Zeo Music)
• KAIMANA BAND, THE, THE MOMENT (Kaimana Music)
• KEAUHOU, KEAUHOU (Keauhou)
• KOLOMONA KU, FOUNTAIN AFTER THE DROUGHT (808 KO Music)
• KALANI PE‘A, E WALEA (Kalani Pe‘a Music)

Single of the Year – Best-recorded performance of a song released as a single in either physical (CD) or digital format

• “E NIPO MAI,” Komakakino (The Lāhui Project)
• “MOLOKA‘I ON MY MIND,” Blayne Asing (Asing A Song)
• “NANI KE ALOHA,” Mailani (Hā Enterprises)
• “PE‘AHI O MAKANA,” Lehua Kalima and Shawn Pimental featuring Devin Kamealoha Forrest (Koops2)
• “SHINE,” John Keawe (Homestead Productions)

EP (“Extened Play”) of the Year – Best extended play release (between 3 and 8 songs) of newly released material

• ALO I KE ALO, Mailani (Hā Enterprises)
• HUA‘I, Aja Gample (Aja Gample)
• PROLOGUE, Yoza (Yoza Music)
• TASTE OF MY LOVE, Shar Carillo (Waiulu Music)
• WHENEVER YOU COME AROUND, A Touch of Gold (Kuleana Breakfast Club)

Album of the Year – Best album release of the year

• E WALEA, Kalani Pe‘a (Kalani Pe‘a Music) Dave Tucciarone, Kamakoa Lindsey-Asing, and Allan Cool – producers
• HE LEO HUALI, “A PURE VOICE,” Ra‘iātea Helm (Ra‘iātea Helm Records) Ra‘iātea Helm Records, Ra‘iātea Helm, and Dave Tucciarone – producers
• HI‘ILAWE, Cyril Pahinui (Pahinui Productions) Cyril Pahinui – producer
• KEAUHOU, Keauhou (Keauhou) Keauhou – producers
• KU‘U PUA SAKURA, Hōkū Zuttermeister (Kaleiola Records) Hōkū Zuttermeister and Dave Tucciarone – producers

Song of the Year – Best achievement in creating a first-time recorded song

• “HANOHANO HA‘IKŪ,” by Zachary Alaka‘i Lum from KEAUHOU (Keauhou)
• “HE LEI ALOHA (NO HILO), by Kalani Pe‘a and Devin Kamealoha Forrest from E WALEA, Kalani Pe‘a (Kalani Pe‘a Music)
• “KU‘U PUA SAKURA,” by Hōkū Zuttermeister from KU‘U PUA SAKURA, Hōkū Zuttermeister (Kaleiola Records)
• “LEI HALA,” by Josh Tatofi and Kamakakehau Fernandez from PUA KIELE, Josh Tatofi (Bu-Print Records)
• “MOLOKA‘I ON MY MIND,” by Blayne Asing from MOLOKA‘I ON MY MIND, Blayne Asing, (Asing A Song)

Instrumental Composition – (Composerʻs award) Best achievement in creating a first-time recorded insrumental composition

• “CONCERTO FOR SLACK KEY GUITAR AND ORCHESTRA, MĀLAMA ‘ĀINA 2ND MOVEMENT,” by Jeff Peterson from WAHI PANA, SONGS OF PLACE, Jeff Peterson (Peterson Productions)
• “KEPANIWAI,” by John Keawe from LOLI‘ANA, John Keawe (Homestead Productions)
• “KI‘HOALU,” by Cyril Pahinui from HI‘ILAWE, Cyril Pahinui (Pahinui Productions)
• “LĒ‘AHI MORNING,” by Herb Ohta, Jr. from MY ‘UKULELE WORLD, Herb Ohta, Jr. (Lele Music Productions)
• “TRITONE,” by Jake Shimabukuro, Nolan Verner, and Byron Yasui from NASHVILLE SESSIONS, Jake Shimabukuro (JS Records)

Favorite Entertainer of the Year – Best performance by an artist or group

• AMY HĀNAIALI‘I
• RA‘IĀTEA HELM
• LEDWARD KAAPANA
• KAWIKA KAHIAPO
• KEAUHOU
• KŪPAOA
• CYRIL PAHINUI
• KALANI PE‘A
• JEFF PETERSON
• JOSH TATOFI
• HŌKŪ ZUTTERMEISTER

GENRE CATEGORIES

Alternative Album of the Year – Best performance of alternative music

• KUKAHI, Kukahi Lee (Makalii Productions)
• LIFE, MUSIC, DEATH, Zach Manzano (Zach Manzano)
• WE ARE ALIVE, The Fresh Preps (no labeL)

Anthology Album of the Year – (Producerʻs award) Best album of previously released material

• ALOHA GOT SOUL: SOUL, AOR & DISCO IN HAWAI‘I 1979 – 1985, Various Artists (Strut Records) Aloha Got Soul – producers
• BEST OF MAOLI, Maoli (Awong Entertainment) Glenn Awong – producer
• BEST OF WALTAH BOY TAVARES, THE, Walter Boy Tavares (The Lāhui Project) Jaz Kaiwiko‘o and Valissa Tavares – producers
• KAMAKA UKULELE PRESENTS: KEEP STRUMMING! CELEBRATING 100 YEARS, Various Artists (Kamaka Hawai‘i) Kamaka Hawai‘i, Inc. – producers
• PEARL HARBOR SONGS, THE, Various Artists (Island Viking) Keith Haugen and Gordon Freitas – producers

Christmas Album of the Year – Best performance in a Christmas theme

• DA NITE B’4 CHRISTMAS, Various Artists (Moon Surfer Productions)
• HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAVIOUR, Leon Williams (Leon Williams)
• HOPE OF ALL HOPES, New Hope Oahu (DREAM Worship)
• MAUI SLACK KEY CHRISTMAS, George Kahumoku, Jr. (Kealia Farms Records)
• METAL KALIKIMAKA – VOLUME 3, Tin Idols (In Idol Productions)

Comedy Album of the Year – Best comedy performance release on album or DVD

• BRIAN SHOW, THE, Brian von Ahsen (Von Awesome)
• I AM A BAD DECISION, Brandi Morgan (Pass Out Records)
• KIDS BIRTHDAY PARTIES, Andrew Locklair (Pass Out Records)

Compilation Album of the Year – (Producerʻs award) Best performance of newly released material by a minimum of three distinct artists

• HEART SPEAKS, THE, Various Artists (Elation Records) Dennis Soares – producer
• LOVE YOUR MOTHER, MĀLAMA KA ‘ĀINA, Various Artists (Daddy Leopard Records) Michelle Aquino, Brandon Apeles, and Darrell Aquino – producers
• MELE FROM AUNTY’S BEACH HOUSE AULANI, A DISNEY RESORT AND SPA, Various Artists (Walt Disney Records) Kenneth Makuakāne – producer
• MELE HO‘OHENO: SONGS FROM MAUNALOA AND KILAUEA, Various Artists (no label) Kenneth Makuakāne, Kaliko Beamer Trapp, and Lehua Mamo – producers
• REPRESENT II, Various Artists (Malama Music Company) Ace Loughmiller – producer

Contemporary Album of the Year – Best performance in a contemporary style

• E WALEA, Kalani Pe‘a (Kalani Pe‘a Music)
• IN TRANSITION, Kapono Na‘ili‘ili (Hot Pink Records)
• KOKO, Ron Kualaau & Zanuck Lindsey (Kapala Music Group)
• OBSIDIAN, Izik (Zeo Music)
• VALLEY ISLE, Matagi (Matagi Music)

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Hawaiian Music Album of the Year – Best performance of Hawaiian music

• HE LEO HUALI, “A PURE VOICE,” Ra‘iātea Helm (Ra‘iātea Helm Records)
• KALAPAWAI KU‘U ‘ĀINA KAULANA, Chinky Māhoe (Kailua Beach Productions)
• KEAUHOU, Keauhou (Keauhou)
• KU‘U PUA SAKURA, Hōkū Zuttermeister (Kaleiola Records)
• REMEMBERING NAPUA, Amy Hānaiali‘i (Ua Records)

Hawaiian Slack Key Album of the Year Best performance of slack key or vocals with slack key accompaniment

• HERE COMES TREBLE, Leo Lindsey (Tiki Time)
• HI‘ILAWE, Cyril Pahinui (Pahinui Productions)
• HO‘OMANA‘O, Patrick Landeza (Addison Street Records)
• KAHUMOKU – PRIEST OF THE LAND, George Kahumoku, Jr. (Kealia Farms Productions)
• NA‘AU HO‘OMAIKA‘I, Peter Wing (Ka‘apeha Records)
• SLACKERS IN PARADISE, Ken Emerson and Jim Kimo West (Westermost)

Hip Hop Album of the Year – Best performance of music in a hip hop style

• ISLAND MOJO, Tre Tru & Petrafyne (Island Mojo)
• LEARN TO FLY, Super Groupers (Eso Music Art)
• LOVE’S HERETIC, Tantra (no label)

Instrumental Album of the Year – Best Instrumental performance

• ETERNITY: QUEEN LILI‘UOKALANI SONGS – PIANO COLLECTION, Chiyo Flynn (Love & Music)
• LOLI‘ANA, John Keawe (Homestead Productions)
• NASHVILLE SESSIONS, Jake Shimabukuro (JS Records)
• SONGS FOR THE NORTH SHORE, Ian O’Sullivan (Hoomana na Mele)
• WAHI PANA, SONGS OF PLACE, Jeff Peterson (Peterson Productions)

Island Music Album of the Year – Best cotemporary performance of music of or about Hawai‘i

• HO‘OKELE, Kūpaoa (Hulu Kūpuna Productions)
• MIST OPPORTUNITIES, Kenneth Makuakāne (KM Music)
• MOMENT, THE, The Kaimana Band (Kaimana Music)
• PUA KIELE, Josh Tatofi (Bu-Print Records)
• UKE CAN CALL ME COUSIN, Kawika Kahiapo (Pono Records)

Jazz Album of the Year – Best jazz performance

• BETWEEN THE MUSIC & THE MOON, Maggie Herron (Herron Song Records)
• BOUNDARIES, The Slippersons (Studio Kumau)
• C’EST SI BON, Mimi & L’Escargot (RVR)
• SASSY, Washburn (EmKay Records)
• SO THIS IS LOVE, Char Dyer (SBE Records)

Music DVD of the Year – Best performance of music and video on a DVD

• HAWAII ALOHA – SONG ACROSS HAWAII, Various Artists (Mana Maoli)
• HE ANUENUE, Taz Vegas (RSM Records/TVMusic)
• MEDUSA: A METAL MUSICAL, Storm (Tin Idol Productions)
• SIRENS, Tim Rose (no label)

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

• DOLLAR SORT AND A MINUTE LATE, A, Landon McNamara (Sea Major Seven)
• KILL EM WITH LOVE, Jookbox City (Yucky Apple Studios)
• TALES OF THE FRUIT STAND MYSTIC, Kanekoa (no label)

Religious Album of the Year – Best performance of religious material

• AVE MARIA, QUEEN OF ANGELS, Cindy Paulos (Practicing Aloha)
• FUTURE + HOPE, New Hope Oahu (DREAM Worship)
• LOCKED & LOADED, Sons of Yeshua (Righteous Rudeboy Productions)
• RIGHTEOUS SON RIZE, Rupert Tripp, Jr. (RTJ Music)
• SOUL PURPOSE, THE, Kenneth Makuakāne (KM Music)

Rock Album of the Year – Best performance of music in a rock style. Tie in vote.

• EVOLVE OR DIE, Eliptic (no lable)
• HELL HATH NO FURY, Sin73 (Tin Idol Productions)
• MEDUSA, Storm (Tin Idol Productions)
• METAL MORMONS: A TRIBUTE TO THE OSMONDS, Tin Idols (Tin Idol Productions)
• OVERTHROW, THE, Nesta (no label)
• TO AND FROM, Scarlet Cord (Scarlet Cord)

‘Ukulele Album of the Year – Best ‘ukulele performance

• JUS’ PRESS, VOL. 2, Ledward Kaapana (Jus’ Press)
• MY ‘UKULELE WORLD, Herb Ohta, Jr. (Lele Music Productions)
• THESE MOMENTS, Kalei Gamiao (Neos Productions)
• ‘UKULELE… OFF THE COUCH, Arlie-Avery Asiu (Arlie-Avery Asiu)
• ‘UKULELE PAINTINGS, Neal Chin (no label)

TECHNICAL CATEGORIES

GRAPHICS AWARD – Award for best total album packaging

• MARC CARLOS and KAMAKA PILI for KALAPAWAI KU‘U ‘ĀINA KAULANA, Chinky Māhoe (Kailua Beach Productions)
• DARYL FUJIWARA and ALLAN COOL for E WALEA, Kalani Pe‘a (Kalani Pe‘a Music)
• KAWIKANUI KAHELE, for KU‘U PUA SAKURA, Hōkū Zuttermeister (Kaleiola Records)
• KI‘I GRAPHICS, CHELLE PAHINUI and AARON MIYASATO for HI‘ILAWE, Cyril Pahinui (Pahinui Productions)
• JACK SOREN for A DOLLAR SHORT AND A MINUTE LATE, Landon McNamara (Sea Major Seven)

Liner Notes Award – Award for best liner notes, tie in vote

• ROGER BONG for ALOHA GOT SOUL: SOUL, AOR & DISCO IN HAWAI‘I 1979 – 1985, Various Artists (Strut Records)
• WILMA H. HOLI and RA‘IĀTEA HELM for HE LEO HUALI, “A PURE VOICE,” Ra‘iātea Helm (Ra‘iātea Helm Records)
• GEORGE KAHUMOKU, JR. for KAHUMOKU – PRIEST OF THE LAND, George Kahumoku, Jr. (Kealia Farms Records)
• LOUIS “MOON” KAUAKAHI for KALAPAWAI KU‘U ‘ĀINA KAULANA, Chinky Māhoe (Kailua Beach Productions)
• ZACHARY LUM for KEAUHOU, Keauhou (Keauhou)
• PUAKEA NOGELMEIER and KALIKOLĪHAU HANNAHS PAIK for HO‘OKELE, Kūpaoa (Hulu Kūpuna Productions)
• HŌKŪ ZUTTERMEISTER for KU‘U PUA SAKURA, Hōkū Zuttermeister (Kaleiola Records)

ADJUDICATED CATEGORIES

Haku Mele Award– (Composerʻs award) Best first-released song or chant primarily in the Hawaiian language

• “HANOHANO HA‘IKŪ” by Zachary Lum, from KEAUHOU, Keauhou (Keauhou)
• “HE LEI ALOHA (NO HILO),” by Kalani Pe‘a and Devin Kamealoha Forrest from E WALEA, Kalani Pe‘a (Kalani Pe’a Music)
• “KA PUA KŌKALA,” by Puakea Nogelmeier from HO‘OKELE, Kūpaoa (Hulu Kūpuna Productions)
• “KĀHIKO KAPĀLAMA,” by Jonah Kahauola Solatorio from KEAUHOU, Keauhou (Keauhou)
• “PĪKAKE LAUNA ‘OLE,” by Nicholas Keali‘i Lum from KEAUHOU, Keauhou (Keauhou)

Hawaiian Language Performance Award – (Artist award) Best performance in the Hawaiian Language

• RA‘IĀTEA HELM. HE LEO HUALI, “A PURE VOICE,” (Ra‘iātea Helm Records)
• KEAUHOU, KEAUHOU (Keauhou)
• KŪPAOA, HO‘OKELE, (Hulu Kūpuna Productions)
• CHINKY MĀHOE, KALAPAWAI KU‘U ‘ĀINA KAULANA (Kailua Beach Productions)
• KALANI PE‘A, E WALEA (Kalani Pe‘a Music)

International Album Special Recognition Award – Award restricted to non-US artists (those born in and who reside in the country in which the submission originates)

• KA LEI NANI I KA PUA NANI, Kaulana Toyo (Kaulana Toyo Music)
• MY FAVORITE THINGS, Ukulele Swing Trio (JB Music)
• SLOW MUSIC – IWAO’S HAWAIIAN COLLECTION 1 – SLACK KEY GUITAR & UKULELE, Iwao Yamaguchi (Oceanview Records)
• TAKAO LIFE SKETCH, Star Wish Ukulele Band (no label)
• TWILIGHT CARNIVAL, Kyas (Dekisou Lab)

Engineering Award: Hawaiian – Best achievement in sound recording and mix-down for recordings of Hawaiian music styles

• JAZ KAIWIKO‘O and MICHAEL SUPRENAUNT for E NIPO MAI, Komakakino (The Lāhui Project)
• KENNETH MAKUAKĀNE for MELE FROM AUNTY’S BEACH HOUSE AULANI, A DISNEY RESORT AND SPA, Various Artists (Walt Disney Records)
• KELLEN PAIK for HO‘OKELE, Kūpaoa (Hulu Kūpuna Productions)
• MICHAEL RUFF for REMEMBERING NAPUA, Amy Hānaiali‘i (Ua Records)
• DAVE TUCCIARONE for HE LEO HUALI, “A PURE VOICE,” Ra‘iātea Helm (Ra‘iātea Helm Records)

Engineering Award: General – Best achievement in sound recording and mix-down for all other genre recordings. Tie in vote.

• NOAH CRONIN for A DOLLAR SHORT AND A MINUTE LATE, Landon McNamara (Sea Major Seven)
• IMUA GARZA for FOUNTAIN AFTER THE DROUGHT, Kolomona Ku (808 KO Music
• IMUA GARZA for LET’S GO, Moostr (Zeo Music)
• DAVID KAUAHIKAUA for WHENEVER YOU COME AROUND, A Touch of Gold (Kuleana Breakfast Club)
• HI‘ILAWE KAY for LOCKED & LOADED, Sons of Yeshua (Righteous Rudeboy Productions)
• BOB ST. JOHN for THESE MOMENTS, Kalei Gamiao (Neos Productions)

The Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards is one of Mele Mei’s signature events. Mele Mei, which translates to “May Hawaiian Music Month” in Hawaiian, features more than 80 performances throughout the Hawaiian Islands. The celebration provides both residents and visitors from around the world a chance to immerse themselves in the islands’ local music and culture. This year’s impressive schedule of artists and industry icons will take place at various hotels and venues statewide and feature entertainment from ‘ukulele and steel guitar to traditional Hawaiian music and hula.

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