Maui Arts & Entertainment

2018 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Ballot: Multiple Nominations for Maui Musicians

April 5, 2018, 9:35 AM HST
* Updated April 9, 8:04 AM
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Kamaka Kukona (left) – ‘Ala Anuhea (Hanu); and Nāpua Greig (right) – Makawalu (Pihana Productions). Both albums were produced by Dave Tucciarone and Kamakoa Lindsey-Asing.

Finalists for the 2018 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards have been announced.  The list of nominees includes the best and brightest among Hawai’i’s music scene. 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 Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts.

Maui’s Kamaka Kukona and Nāpua Greig have been nominated in multiple categories including Album of the Year, Male and Female Vocalist of the Year respectively, Hawaiian Music Album of the Year, and the Hawaiian Language Performance Award.

Both musicians are also kumu hula for hālau that are competing in this week’s 2018 Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo.

Kukona was nominated for the 57th Annual (2014) Grammy Awards and received two Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards as “Most Promising Artist of the Year” and “Male Vocalist of the Year” for his debut album Hanu A’ala (2013). His latest album, ‘Ala Anuhea was released in 2017.

Nāpua’s debut release, “Pihana” (2007) garnered six Nā Hōkū Hanohano nominations and resulted in a Nā Hōkū Hanohano award for “Best Female Vocalist.”  In 2010, she released a second album, “Mohalu,” which received three Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards–for Female Vocalist of the Year, Hawaiian Album of the Year and Favorite Entertainer (by public vote).  Her latest release, “Makawalu” (2017) is nominated in multiple categories..


Other Maui artists nominated in the general categories Include Matagi and Ekolu–both nominated for Single of the Year; Kalani Pe’a for Hawaiian Single of the Year; and Aia I Laila Ka Wai produced by the Institute of Hawaiian Music, featuring various artists.


In the “Island Music Album of the Year” category, there were three Maui artists nominated: Halemanu “So the Story Goes”, Damien Paiva “Island Treasures”, and Cane Fire “Coming Home.”

Winners for each category will be revealed on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

41st Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards: Final Ballot Nominees



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, composers

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)

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.)


Alternative Album of the Year – Best performance of alternative music
ANASPOND, Mele‘uhane (Tiki Time Records)
HUMAN, Kukahi Lee (Makali‘i Productions)
PORTRAITS, Kamuela Kahoanao (Green Light Go HI Productions)
RETROGRADE, Evan Khay (Evan Khay)
STAY GOLD, Stef Mariani (Klever Kitty Records)

Anthology Album of the Year – (Producerʻs award) Best album of previously released material
30TH ANNIVERSARY, Pandanus Club (KMM)
BEST OF METAL KALIKIMAKA VOL. 1 – 3 (Tin Idol Productions)
HAPPY TO BE ME, Randy Parker (Mauka Productions)
JUS’ BES’, Ledward Kaapana (Jus’ Press Productions)

Compilation Album of the Year – (Producerʻs award) Best performance of newly released material by a minimum of three distinct artists
NĀ LEO KAU‘I Ō HAWAI‘I, Various Artists (Neos Productions)
NĀ MELE ‘UKULELE, Various Artists (Neos Productions)
SEASON OF CHANGE, A, Various Artists (Elation Records)

Contemporary Album of the Year – Best performance in a contemporary style
ALL THE LIGHT ABOVE IT TOO, Jack Johnson (Brushfire Records)
ALOHA SPIRIT, Tavana (no label)
JOHN VALENTINE HAWAII: BACK IN MY DAY, John Valentine (Studio Valentine One Music)
PROUD AS THE SUN, Kimie Miner (Haku Records)

Hawaiian Music Album of the Year – Best performance of Hawaiian music
‘ALA ANUHEA, Kamaka Kukona (Hanu)
HO‘OKENA 3.0, Ho‘okena (Huliau, LLC)
I KE KŌ A KE AU, Keauhou (Keauhou)
KU‘UPAU, Lito Arkangel (Lito Arkangel)
MAKAWALU, Nāpua (Pihana Productions)

Hip Hop Album of the Year – Best performance of music in a hip hop style
ARTCHITEXTURE – Cedric Clinton (no label)
MAKANA – Illtalian (no label)
MY TIME, NO LIE – Slikk (Aloha Hye Records)
OPEN EYES – Geronimo (no label)
RUBBERBANDZ & CONTRABAND – Aktion (Twentybirdz)
TRULIFE – Tre Tru (Island Moho Ent.)

Instrumental Album of the Year – Best Instrumental performance
ACROSS THE SEA, Greg Sardinha, Tsun-Hui Hung, and Jeff Peterson (Keala Records)
ALOHA, THIS IS WHO WE ARE, Lance Takamine (Lance Takamine / Pass Out Records)
NA WAHIHO‘OLU‘U, Dennis Soares (Elation Records)

Island Music Album of the Year – Best contemporary performance of music of or about Hawai‘i
ALOHA FROM MY HAWAI‘I, Michael Chock (Seawind Productions)
COMING HOME, Cane Fire (Cane Fire Music)
ISLAND TREASURERS, Damien Paiva ((no label)
PEOPLE AND PLACES OF NA KO‘OLAU, Rod Young and Gordon Broad (Moon Surfer Productions)
SO THE STORY GOES, Halemanu (Sounds Like Hale)

Jazz Album of the Year – Best jazz performance
DEEMS TSUTAKAWA AND FRIENDS – LIVE IN HAWAII, Deems sutakawa and Friends (J- Town Records)
LIVE AT STUDIO 6, Rich Crandall Trio (Music Formats)
MELE HO‘OILINA, Kahulanui (Kahulanui, LLC)
SWANKY AT ABBEY ROAD, Patrick von Wiegandt featuring Ginai (von Wiegandt Productions)

Metal Album of the Year (new for 2018) – Best performance of music in a metal style
GUNS, GOD, GOLD, Champions of Terminal (Tin Idol Productions)
NEW GENESIS, Sin73 (Tin Idol Productions)
TRIBUTE, Makona (Tin Idol Productions)
ZODIAC, Storm (Tin Idol Productions)

Music Video of the Year (new for 2018) – Best performance of music and video. At least 75 percent of the video music contain musical performance or content in which the music of Hawai‘i is the subject. May contain no more than two (2) distinct music tracks.
BAMBOO, Kimie Miner (Haku Records)
E NĀ KINI, Kalani Pe‘a (Kalani Pe‘a Music)
E PILI MAI, Nāpua (Pihana Productions)
KEWALO UKA, Keauhou (Keauhou)

R&B Album of the Year – Best performance of music in a R&B style
GENRES OF SOUL, RJ Kaneao (Groove Plant Hawaii)
POINT PANIC, Mango Season (no label)
UNIVERSAL INVITATION, Goldawn Won & The Universe (808 Connects)

Reggae Album of the Year – Best performance of music in a reggae style
ALMOST FAMOUS, Backwards Shaka (Yucky Apple Studios)
LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE, Mark Saito (Mark Saito Music)
MARCHING ORDERS, The Green (Easy Star Records)

Religious Album of the Year – Best performance of religious material
CARRY ME ON, Mark Riley (Music Missions International Kauai)
GREATEST LOVE, THE, Nigel Kauanui (no label)
KINGDOM, New Hope Oahu Music (Dream Music)
SIMPLY FOR KE AKUA, Kenneth Makuakāne (KMM)
SOULJAHS OF JESUS CHRIST, Sons of Yeshua (Bless Up Productions)

Rock Album of the Year – Best performance of music in a rock style. Tie in vote.
ALONG THESE LINES, Zach Manzano (Zach Manzano)
EKLECTIC, Stuart Hollinger (Baby Boy Productions)
LIGHTNING STRIKES HILO, Larry Dupio (no label)
LOCK, The Bandhas (Ultramega Records)
LOVECHILE, Lovechile (Pass Out Records)
SHINING, Pierce Bivens (Bandwagon Studios)

‘Ukulele Album of the Year – Best ‘ukulele performance
MORE THAN THIS, Kris Fuchigami (Kris Fuchigami)
MY DOG HAS FLEAS, Arlie-Avery Asiu (Arlie-Avery Asiu)
NEW JOURNEY, A, Andrew Molina (Shadow Uke Music)
SOLILOQUY, Arden Fujiwara (no label)
SPOTLESS MIND, THE, Neal Chin (Nose Butter Productions)
‘UKULELE FRIENDS: THE SEQUEL, Bryan Tolentino & Herb Ohta, Jr. (Neos Productions)


Graphics Award – Award for best total album packaging
WAILANI ARTATES for Makawalu, Nāpua (Pihana Productions)
BROOK DOMBROSKI for Proud As The Son – Kimie Miner (Haku Records)
SCARLET ESKILDSEN for Mele Ho‘oilina, Kahulanui (Kahulanui, LLC)
DARYL FUJIWARA for Ku‘u Pualei, Leipono (no label)
KAMEA HADAR for Marching Orders, The Green (Easy Star Records)
SCOTT JOHNSON for Jusʻ Besʻ, Ledward Kaapana (Jus’ Bes’ Productions)
RANAE KEANE-BAMSEY for Honi Honi, Bula Akamu (no label)
RAUL SORIA, JR. for Isochronism, Aphesis (Made in Pain)

Liner Notes Award – Award for best liner notes, tie in vote
KAMAKA KUKONA for ‘Ala Anuhea, Kamaka Kukona (Hanu)
MAILA GIBSON for Ho‘okena 3.0, Ho‘okena (Huliau, LLC)
ZACHARY ALAKA‘I LUM for I Ke Kō A Ke Au, Keauhou (Keauhou)
PONO MURRAY for Ku‘u Pualei, (no label)
ANELA U‘ILANI TANIGAWA for Makawalu, Nāpua (Pihana Productions)
NAPUA WONG for Tree of Life, Mokihana Flood (Moki Records)


Haku Mele Award– (Composerʻs award) Best first-released song or chant primarily in the Hawaiian language
“ ‘ALA ANUHEA,” by Kamaka Kukona, from ‘Ala Anuhea, Kamaka Kukona (Hanu)
“ALOHA MAUNALUA,” by Nicholas Keali‘i Lum, from I Ke Kō A Ke Au, Keauhou (Keauhou)
“LEI NANI KALAUNU,” by Kīhei Nahale-a, from Makawalu, Nāpua (Pihana Productions)
“LEI O KAIONA,” by Manaiakalani Kalua and Kīhei Nahale-a from Makawalu, Nāpua (Pihana
“MĀ‘ELI‘ELI,” by Zachary Alaka‘i Lum, from I Ke Kō A Ke Au, Keauhou (Keauhou)

Hawaiian Language Performance Award – (Artist award) Best performance in the Hawaiian Language
HO‘OKENA, Ho‘okena 3.0 (Huliau, LLC)
KEAUHOU, I Ke Kō A Ke Au (Keauhou)
KAMAKA KUKONA, ‘Ala Anuhea (Hanu)
LEIPONO, Ku‘u Pualei (no label)
NĀPUA, Makawalu (Pihana Productions)

Engineering Award, General – Best technical achievement in a sound recording and mix–down.
KAPENA DE LIMA for Palena ‘Ole, Kapena (KDE)
IMUA GARZA for Retrograde, Evan Khay (Evan Khay)
IMUA GARZA AND JULES WASHINGTON for Proud As The Son – Kimie Miner (Haku
IMUA GARZA AND ZEO MUSIC for Dewfall, Carzina del Mar (Carzina del Mar)
Marching Orders, The Green (Easy Star Records)
ZACH MANZANO for Along These Lines, Zach Manzano (Zach Manzano)

Engineering Award, Hawaiian– Best technical achievement in a Hawaiian sound recording and mix–down.
KALE CHANG for Huaka‘i Ku‘u Poli, Kamanawa (Keala Records)
DAVE TUCCIARONE for ‘Ala Anuhea, Kamaka Kukona (Hanu)
DAVE TUCCIARONE for Ku‘u Pualei, Leipono (no label)
DAVE TUCCIARONE for Makawalu , Nāpua (Pihana Productions)

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)
PARADISE MAGIC, Ho Capito (Earth Groove)
COLORS, Hook (Fukuhara Naoki)
KU‘U HALE ‘O KOIPE, Kahealani (Kissa Kope)
MENEHUNE, Kentaro Tsushima (Kepani Records)
SUNSET BREEZE, Ukulele Swing Trio (JB Music)
KE OLA HOU, John Taisuke Yamada (JST)

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