“Kawaiokalena” Dominates Nā Hōkū Awards: Complete List of 2015 Winners

May 26, 2015, 3:40 PM HST · Updated May 27, 4:04 AM
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Kealii Reichel. Photo courtesy Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Kealii Reichel. Photo courtesy Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

By Wendy Osher

Maui’s own Kealiʻi Reichel topped the 38th Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, winning in seven personal categories, and a studio engineering category for his “Kawaiokalena” album.

His accolades included: Favorite Entertainer, Male Vocalist of the Year, Hawaiian Music Album, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Haku Mele, and Hawaiian Language Performance.

Other notable Maui artists taking home awards included Amy Hanaialiʻi Gilliom and Willie K for Contemporary Album, and Ikaika Blackburn of Nā Hoa for EP of the Year.

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The winners were announced at a ceremony on May 23rd at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.

The complete list of award winners are as follows (winners are highlighted in yellow):

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

  • REBECCA BERALAS, Rebecca Beralas (Leap of Faith)
  • ERIKA ELONA, Things to Break (‘Aumakua)
  • GINAI, Endless Christmas (Black Hawaiian)
  • MAGGIE HERRON, Good Thing (no label)
  • MAILANI, A Lot Like Love (Hā)

Instrumental Composition: (Composer’s award) Best Achievement in creating a first-time recorded instrumental composition.

  • “1,000 Crystals,” by Pali Ka‘aihue from 1,000 CRYSTALS, Pali Ka‘aihue (PK)
  • “Kona Hema (South Kona)” by Ozzie Kotani from ISLAND VIEW, Ozzie Kotani (no label)
  • “Moe’s Lullaby” by Kawika Kahiapo from HO‘OMALUHIA, Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)
  • “Na Pali” by Jeff Peterson, Riley Lee, Kenny Endo from ISLAND BREEZE, Jeff Peterson, Riley Lee, Kenny Endo (Peterson)
  • “Uyeda” by Kenneth Makuakāne from ALTAR NATIVE, Kenneth Makuakāne (KMM)

Male Vocalist of the Year: Best performance by a male artist.

  • RICHARD HO‘OPI‘I, The Timeless Voice (Makai)
  • KUANA TORRES KAHELE, Music for the Hawaiian Islands Vol.2 – Kahelelani Niihau (KTK)
  • KAWIKA KAHIAPO, Ku‘u ‘Āina Aloha (Pono)
  • KUNEWA (MOOK), Oia Ka Manawa (Kunekona)
  • KEALI‘I REICHEL, Kawaiokalena (Punahele)

Group of the Year: Best performance by a vocal duo or group. (Choose one)

  • AMY & WILLIE K, Reunion (Island Soul)
  • HAWAIIAN STYLE BAND, Hānau Hou (Mountain Apple)
  • HŪ‘EWA, Hū‘ewa (Hā)
  • NĀ HOA, Cha-lang-a-lang Christmas (Nā Hoa)
  • WAIPUNA, E Mau Ke Aloha (Poki)

Most Promising Artist of the Year: Most Promising first-recorded effort as a featured artist or group.

  • LITO ARKANGEL, Me Ke Aloha (Palm)
  • HŪ‘EWA, Hū‘ewa (Hā)
  • KUNEWA (MOOK), Oia Ka Manawa (Kunekona)
  • KEIKILANI LINDSEY, Mele‘uhane (Tiki Time)
  • KAPONO NĀ‘ILI‘ILI, Ala Iki – The Path Less Traveled (Hot Pink)
  • SEAN ROBBINS, Olanui (Sean Robbins)

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

  • “JUMP IN,” Mailani (Hā)
  • “KA UA KILIHUNE,” Hū‘ewa (Hā)
  • “KI HO‘ALU MAN,” John Keawe and Sonny Lim (Homestead)
  • “‘OHAI ALI‘I KALUHEA,” Kuana Torres Kahele (KTK)
  • “ONE MORE DAY,” Waipuna (Poki)

EP (“Extended Play”) of the Year: Best Extended Play release (between 3 and 8 songs and less than 30 minutes of total playing time) of newly released material.

  • CHA-LANG-A-LANG CHRISTMAS, Nā Hoa (Nā Hoa)
  • LIVE AGAIN, Aidan James (no label)
  • LOT LIKE LOVE, A, Mailani (Hā)
  • NONA KE MELE, Kenneth Makuakāne (KMM)
  • OUR YOUNGER DAYS, Stephen Inglis (Rhythm and Roots)

Album of the Year: Best album release of the year.

  • E MAU KE ALOHA, Waipuna (Poki) Waipuna and Kale Chang – producers
  • HŪ‘EWA, Hū‘ewa (Hā) Kaui Dalire and Sean Na‘auao – producers
  • KAWAIOKALENA, Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele) Keali‘i Reichel, Fred Krauss, Jim  Linkner, Shawn Pimental, and Michael Grande – producers
  • KU‘U ‘ĀINA ALOHA, Kawika Kahiapo (Pono) Kawika Kahiapo and Chris Lau –  producers
  • MUSIC FOR THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, VOLUME 2: KAHELELANI NIIHAU,  Kuana Torres Kahele (KTK) Kuana Torres Kahele, Marcus Turner, and Dave Tucciarone  – producers

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

  • “A LUNA I KA PALI” by Kaui Dalire, Kupu Dalire-Na‘auao, and Sean Na‘auao from HŪ‘EWA, Hū‘ewa (Hā)
  • “HAWAIIAN MAN” by Willie K and Amy Hanaiali‘i Gilliom from REUNION, Amy & Willie K (Island Soul)
  • “HE ‘I‘ĪNI NŌ” by Kale Hannahs from E MAU KE ALOHA, Waipuna (Poki)
  • “KAWAIOKALENA” by Keali‘i Reichel from KAWAIOKALENA, Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)
  • “WAIMANĀLO” by Kawika Kahiapo from KU‘U ‘ĀINA ALOHA, Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)

Genre Categories

Contemporary Album of the Year: Best performance in a contemporary style.

  • ALTAR NATIVE, Kenneth Makuakāne (KMM)
  • CURSE OF THE PRIME RIB POKE, Vaihi (Vaihi)
  • ONLY LOVE, Kūlewa (Oversized)
  • REUNION, Amy & Willie K (Island Soul)
  • WINDS OF THE SEA, Kawohi Kamaka (Lāhui Project)

Island Music Album of the Year: Best contemporary performance of music of or about Hawai’ i.

  • AINA KAULA, Keale (Kaula)
  • E MAU KE ALOHA, Waipuna (Poki)
  • HĀNAU HOU, Hawaiian Style Band (Mountain Apple)
  • HULA GIRL, Kenneth Makuakāne and Jeff Rasmussen (KMM)
  • KU‘U ‘ĀINA ALOHA, Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)

Rock Album of the Year: Best performance of music in a rock style.

  • BOOMBOX STARSHIP, Busekrus (no label)
  • COLOUR MY SOUL, Stef Muzic Mariani (Klever Kitty)
  • KICKING AND SCREAMING, Tavana McMoore (Tavana)
  • KINGS OF SPADE, Kings of Spade (no label)
  • LIVE DUKE’S ON SUNDAY 2, Henry Kapono (Kapono)
  • TURBO PASCAL, Turbo Pascal (Pass Out)

Hawaiian Music Album of the Year: Best performance of Hawaiian music.

  • HŪ‘EWA, Hū‘ewa (Hā)
  • KAWAIOKALENA, Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)
  • MUSIC FOR THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, VOLUME 2: KAHELELANI NIIHAU, Kuana Torres Kahele (KTK)
  • OIA KA MANAWA, Kunewa (Mook) (Kunekona)
  • TIMELESS VOICE, Richard Ho‘opi‘i (Makai)

Jazz Album of the Year: Best jazz performance.

  • ADVENTURES IN HAWAIIAN STEEL GUITAR, Joel Katz (Joel Katz)
  • GOOD THING, Maggie Herron (no label)
  • LEIS OF JAZZ, VOL. 2, Alika Lyman Group (DigiTiki)
  • RHYTHM & UKE, Abe Lagrimas, Jr. (Pass Out)
  • THEY COME AND THEY GO, Reggie Padilla (Pass Out)

Instrumental Album of the Year: Best instrumental performance.

  • ‘EKAHI, Bolo (Red Moon)
  • ISLAND BREEZE, Jeff Peterson, Riley Lee, and Kenny Endo (Peterson)
  • JUS’ CRUZIN’, Ledward Kaapana (Jus’ Press)
  • MANA ROAD, Kohala (Palm)
  • ULU WALE, Shawn Livingston Moseley (‘Aumakua)

Alternative Album of the Year: Best performance of alternative music.

  • KALAKAUA AVENUE, Streetlight Cadence (Streetlight Cadence)
  • MISSING PIECES, Laka Kapihe (no label)
  • ONE & ONLY, Keri Silva (Bandwagon)
  • RAIN WORK, Hanale Bishop (‘Aumakua)
  • THINGS TO BREAK, Erika Elona (‘Aumakua)
  • VOYAGER, Ark Patrol (Heroic)

Christmas Album of the Year: Best performance in a Christmas theme.

  • ENDLESS CHRISTMAS, Ginai (Black Hawaiian)
  • METAL KALIKIMAKA, VOL. 1, Tin Idols (Tin Idol)
  • OUR FINEST GIFTS – A CHRISTMAS WISH 2, Various Artists (Angel Heart)
  • SHAKA KALIKIMAKA, The Makuakāne ‘Ohana (KMM)
  • UKULELE CHRISTMAS 2, AN, Various Artists (Neos)
  • WHAT’S UNDER THE TREE, Dennis and Christy Soares (Elation)

Slack Key Album of the Year: Best Performance of slack key or vocals with slack key accompaniment.

  • HO‘OMALUHIA, Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)
  • ISLAND VIEW, Ozzie Kotani (no label)
  • SEEDS OF ALOHA, George Kahumoku, Jr. (Makai)

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

  • ARE YOU IN, HiRiz (no label)
  • AT THE HEART OF IT, Dread Ashanti (‘Aumakua)
  • PARADISE, Kolohe Kai (RKD)
  • SOULJAHZ FOR LIFE, Rebel Souljahz (Koops2)
  • TO YOU FROM WE, The Steppas (2econd Street)

Religious Album of the Year: Best performance of religious material.

  • I KAUPAKUEA – WORSHIP IN HILO, Hilo Missionary Church (HMC)
  • MALAMALAMA, Kenneth Makuakāne (KMM)
  • MY GOD IS EVERYWHERE, Dennis and Christy Soares (Elation)
  • TWO WINGS, Samoan Gospel Heralds (SGH)
  • VICTORIOUS, New Hope Oahu (Dream Worship)

R&B Album of the Year: Best performance of music in an R&B style.

  • CHOICE IS YOURS, Kailua Bay Buddies (Daddy Leopard)
  • DO IT RIGHT, The Candi Factory (Rudeboy)
  • NORTH WIND, Boogie (‘Aumakua)
  • STICKY ICKY SOUL, Jaz Kaiwiko‘o (Lāhui Project)
  • WAKING UP, Maryanne Ito (InTribal Scribings)

Compilation Album of the Year: Producer’s award. Best performance of newly released material by a minimum of three distinct artists. Award to local producer(s).

  • BURIED TREASURES, Various Artists (Elation) Dennis Soares – producer
  • HAWAIIAN SLACK KEY KINGS, VOL. 3, Various Artists (Rhythm and Roots) Chris Lau and Milton Lau – producers
  • ISLAND STYLE UKULELE 2, Various Artists (Neos) Bob and Pati St. John – producers

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

  • AMY & WILLIE K
  • HŪ‘EWA
  • LEDWARD KAAPANA
  • KUANA TORRES KAHELE
  • KAWIKA KAHIAPO
  • HENRY KAPONO
  • MAILANI
  • NĀ HOA
  • KEALI‘I REICHEL
  • WAIPUNA

Technical Categories: Graphic artists and Liner Notes writers must be residents of the State of Hawai‘i.  Note: Graphics and Liner Notes categories are voted by HARA Regular Members Only

Graphics Award: Award for the best total packaging – exterior (cover) and interior (booklet/insert, disc art) graphics – that artistically conveys the record’s theme. Digital download–only releases are not eligible for a Graphics award.

  • WAILANI ARTATES, for OLANUI by Sean Robbins (Sean Robbins)
  • SCOTT JOHNSON, for KAWAIOKALENA by Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)
  • DALEN KAHIAPO AND ALANA KAHIAPO, for KU‘U ‘ĀINA ALOHA by Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)
  • BRAD KAWAKAMI, for ALA IKI – THE PATH LESS TRAVELED by Kapono Nā‘ili‘ili (Hot Pink)
  • JOHN MATSUZAKI, for E MAU KE ALOHA by Waipuna (Poki)
  • B. KANAI‘A NAKAMURA, for MUSIC FOR THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, VOLUME 2 – KAHELELANI NIIHAU by Kuana Torres Kahele (KTK)

Liner Notes Awards: Award for best liner notes that enlightens the reader about the artist, the project’s theme, significance of song choices, and in the case of Hawaiian language recordings, provides lyrics and translations. Digital download–only releases are not eligible for a Liner Notes award.

  • NEIL J. HANNAHS, for E MAU KE ALOHA by Waipuna (Poki)
  • KUANA TORRES KAHELE, for MUSIC FOR THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, VOLUME 2 – KAHELELANI NIIHAU by Kuana Torres Kahele (KTK)
  • ERIC LEE, for ANTHOLOGY: 1994 – 2014 by Eric Lee (Lee)
  • KEIKILANI LINDSEY, for MELE‘UHANE by Keikilani Lindsey (Tiki Time)
  • SEAN ROBBINS, for OLANUI by Sean Robbins (Sean Robbins)

Adjudicated Categories: The following categories are judged by separate panels of judges. Listings are for informational purpose only.

Haku Mele Award: (Composer’s Award) Best first–released song or chant primarily in the Hawaiian language.

  • A LUNA I KA PALI, by Kaui Dalire, Kupu Dalire-Na‘auao, and Sean Na‘auao from  HŪ‘EWA, Hū‘ewa (Hā)
  • HĀLI‘ALI‘A ALOHA, by Eric Lee from HĀLI‘ALI‘A ALOHA, Eric Lee (Lee)
  • KAWAIOKALENA, by Keali‘i Reichel from KAWAIOKALENA, Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)
  • ‘O ‘OE NO PAHA IA, by Devin Kamealoha Forrest and Keali‘i Reichel from KAWAIOKALENA, Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)
  • ‘ŌMATA PAHE‘E TO ALOHA, by Kekuhi Keliikanaka‘ole and Keali‘i Reichel from KAWAIOKALENA, Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)

Hawaiian Language Performance Award: (Artist Award) Best performance in the Hawaiian language.

  • HŪ‘EWA, Hū‘ewa (Hā)
  • KUANA TORRES KAHELE, Music for the Hawaiian Islands, Volume 2 – Kahelelani Niihau (KTK)
  • KAWIKA KAHIAPO, Ku‘u ‘Āina Aloha (Pono)
  • KEALI‘I REICHEL, Kawaiokalena (Punahele)
  • WAIPUNA, E Mau Ke Aloha (Poki)

Engineering Award (Must be a resident of the State of Hawai‘i): Best technical achievement in a sound recording and mix–down.

Hawaiian Genre Category

  • MICHAEL GRANDE, JIM LINKNER, AND SHAWN PIMENTAL, for Kawaiokalena, Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)
  • CHRIS LAU, for Ho‘omaluhia, Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)
  • CRHIS LAU, for Ku‘u ‘Āina Aloha, Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)
  • SHAWN PIMENTAL AND MICHAEL GRANDE, for Hū‘ewa, Hū‘ewa (Hā)
  • DAVE TUCCIARONE, for Music for the Hawaiian Islands, Volume 2 – Kahelelani Niihau , Kuana Torres Kahele (KTK)

Non-Hawaiian Genre Category

  • KAPENA DE LIMA, for The Vitals, The Vitals (no label)
  • KAPENA DE LIMA AND IMUA GARZA, for Paradise, Kolohe Kai (RKD)
  • MICHAEL GRANDE, for They Come and They Go, Reggie Padilla (Pass Out)
  • JOEL KATZ, for Adventures in Hawaiian Steel Guitar, Joel Katz (no label)
  • LOCK LYNCH, for Choice is Yours, Kailua Bay Buddies (Daddy Leopard)
  • GARIN POLIAHU, for Hānau Hou, Hawaiian Style Band (Mountain Apple)

International Album – Special Recognition Award: Award is restricted to non–US artists

  • ANELLA, Anella (Spirit of J)
  • IN THE MOMENT, Hook (Hook)
  • JOURNEY WITH UKULELE, Co-Hal (HAL)
  • KATZ SINGS HULA, VOL.1, Seiji Katz (Winston)
  • KEPANĪ, Kentaro Tsushima (School Bus)
  • OVER THE RAINBOW, Ku‘ulei Mamo (Sma Kine)
  • SHALL WE HULA?, Māpukiki (Music Well)
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