HARA Announces Finalists for 41st Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards

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The annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards show will celebrate the biggest names in Hawai‘i’s music industry on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

The finalists for this year’s 41st Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards includes names from Hawai‘i’s most talented and gifted musicians, songwriters and producers. This year’s awards features a record 33 different categories—including several new categories: Hawaiian Single of the Year, Metal Album of the Year and Music Video of the Year. Finalists are selected by the more than 600 members of the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA).

“We’re excited to celebrate another year of Hawai‘i’s musical talent,” said Pali Ka‘aihue, president of the HARA. “Hawai‘i is a melting pot for entertainment and we look forward to recognizing the excellence of these individuals as they perpetuate Hawai‘i’s music and represent our beautiful state. The Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards is the music award show in the state and we look forward to hosting another unforgettable evening kanikapila with performances by our islands’ music icons.”

Winners for each category will be revealed on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at the 41st Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Tickets start at $175 for general admission, $150 for kama‘āina and are $250 for premium seats. To purchase tickets, call (808) 593-9424 or go online.

This year guests who attend the awards can keep the excitement going at the first Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards After Party. The event will take place from 10 p.m. to 12 midnight at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.


Tickets cost $65 and can only be purchased with an awards show ticket. Each ticket includes two drinks and pūpū.

A selection of this year’s 2018 Nā Hōkū Hanohano finalists are included below.

Album of the Year – Best album release of the year
● ‘ALA ANUHEA, Kamaka Kukona (Hanu), Dave Tucciarone and Kamakoa Lindsey-Asing, producers
● HO‘OKENA 3.0, Ho‘okena (Huilau, LLC), Ho‘okena, producer
● I KE KŌ A KE AU, Keauhou (Keauhou), Keauhou, producer
● MAKAWALU – Nāpua (Pihana Productions), Dave Tucciarone and Kamakoa Lindsey-Asing, producers
● PALENA ‘OLE – Kapena (KDE), Kapena, producer

EP (“Extended Play”) of the Year – Best extended play release (between 3 and 8 songs) of newly released material
● AIA I LAILA KA WAI, Various Artists, Keola Donaghy and Joel Katz producers (Institute of Hawaiian Music)
● HIS SONGS, HIS STORIES, HIS STYLE, Brother Noland (Brother Noland)
● PALI KE KUA, Mailani (Hā Enterprises)
● THIS MOUNTAIN, Pat Simmons, Jr. (Pat Simmons, Jr.)

Single of the Year – Best-recorded performance of a song released as a single in either physical (CD) or digital format
● “AUTUMN LEAVES (LIVE),” Keahi Conjugacion (No Hum Yet)
● “IN MY LIVE,” Maggie Herron (Herron Song Records)
● “SINCERELY,” Matagi (with Fiji) (Mea Nui Records, LLC)
● “WE ARE HAWAI‘I’S FINEST,, Ekolu (Waiehu Records)
● “WE GIVE YOU GLORY,” Gabby Pahinui (Bless Up Productions)


Hawaiian Single of the Year (new for 2018) – Best recorded performance of a Hawaiian song released as a single in either physical (CD) or digital format
● E NĀNĀ, Nathan Aweau (Bass Plus Music Arts)
● KANAKALOKA, Kalani Pe‘a (Kalani Pe‘a Music)
● KAULANA KA INOA ‘O HŌKŪLE‘A, Chad Takatsugi featuring Nā Hoa and Kuini (no label)
● KU‘U LEI PUAKENIKENI, Shawn and Lehua (Kalima Music, LLC)
● NOU E PAUAHI, Eric Lee (Lee Enterprises)

Song of the Year – Best achievement in creating a first-time recorded song
● “BAMBOO,” Kimie Miner, from Proud As the Sun (Haku Records), Kimie Miner, Imua Garza, Jesse Epstein, and Isaac Moreno, composers
● “E NĀNĀ,” Nathan Aweau, from E Nana (Bass Plus Music Arts), Nathan Aweau, composer
● “KAWELO UKA,” Keauhou, from I Ke Kō A Ke Au (Keauhou), Jonah Kahauola Solatorio, composer
● “KU‘U LEI PUAKENIKENI,” Shawn and Lehua, from Ku‘u Lei Puakenikeni (Kalima Music, LLC), Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Shawn Pimental and Lehua Kalima, composers
● “WHEN I COME HOME,” Kapena, from Palena ‘Ole (KDE), Kenneth Makuakāne, composer

Instrumental Composition – (Composerʻs award) Best achievement in creating a first-time recorded instrumental composition
● INDIE MAN, Kamuela Kahoano from Portraits (Green Light Go HI Productions), Kamuela Kahoano, composer
● JOURNEY ACROSS THE SEA, THE, Greg Sardinha, Tsun-Hui Hung, and Jeff Peterson, from Across the Sea (Keala Records), Greg Sardinha and Tsun-Hui Hung, composers
● KAHULANUI BOOGIE WOOGIE, Kahulanui from Mele Ho‘oilina (Kahulanui, LLC), Bill Noble, composer
● KAILUA RAIN, Kuleana Breakfast Club from Musicians Helping Musicians, Friends Helping Friends (Kuleana Breakfast Club, LLC), David Kauahikaua, composer
● KE ALI‘I KI‘EKI‘E, Kenneth Makuakāne from Simply for Ke Akua (KMM), Kenneth Makuakāne and Kawaipunaoha‘ao Makuakāne, composer

Female Vocalist of the Year – Best performance by a female artist
● SANDY ESSMAN, ‘Ale‘a (Tin Idol Productions)
● MAILANI, Pali Ke Kua (Hā Enterprises)
● STEF MARIANI, Stay Gold (Klever Kitty Records)
● KIMIE MINER, Proud As the Sun (Haku Records)
● NĀPUA, Makawalu (Pihana Productions)

Group of the Year – Best performance by a vocal duo or group
● BRYAN TOLENTINO & HERB OHTA, JR., ‘Ukulele Friends, The Sequel (Neos Productions)
● HO‘OKENA, Ho‘okena 3.0 (Huliau, LLC)
● KAHULANUI, Mele Ho‘oilina (Kahulanui, LLC)
● KAPENA, Palena ‘Ole (KDE)
● KEAUHOU, I Ke Kō A Ke Au (Keauhou)


Male Vocalist of the Year – Best performance by a male artist
● LITO ARKANGEL, Ku‘upau (Lito Arkangel)
● BROTHER NOLAND, His Songs, His Stories, His Style (Brother Noland)
● JACK JOHNSON, All the Light Above It Too (All the Light Above It Too)
● KAMAKA KUKONA, ‘Ala Anuhea (Hanu)
● KENNETH MAKUAKĀNE, Simply for Akua (KMM)

Most Promising Artist of the Year – Most promising first-recorded effort as a featured artist or group. Tie in vote
● BEAT-LELE , Beat-Lele: An Ukulele Tribute to the Beatles (Beatle-lele Music)
● KALA‘E CAMARILLO, Working Man (no label)
● HALEMANU, So the Story Goes (Sounds Like Hale)
● LEIPONO, Ku‘u Pualei (no label)
● PAT SIMMONS, JR., This Mountain (Pat Simmons, Jr.)

The Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards is one of Mele Mei’s 2018 signature events. Mele Mei, which translates to “May Hawaiian Music Month,” features a number of musical 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 schedule of performances will take place at various hotels and venues statewide and feature entertainment from ‘ukulele and steel guitar to traditional Hawaiian music and hula.

For more information on Mele Mei, go online.

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