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Season's Listening! 6 essential Hawaii Christmas music albums

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A Hawaiian Christmas
Amy Hanaialii

Tiki Man Records, 2007

Amy Hanaialii can sing just about anything. But she is at her best when wrapping her versatile voice around Hawaiian-language music. Amy’s first Christmas album—made up of traditional holiday tunes from her Maui childhood—is almost wholly in Hawaiian, which is where its true pleasures lie. “Betelehema Iki E” (“O Little Town of Bethlehem”), “Hamau E Na Kanaka” (“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”) and “Po Hemolele” (“O Holy Night”), among others, sound brand new guided by Amy’s exquisite vocals and soothing nahenahe (soft, melodious) arrangements.


Kealii Reichel

Punahele Productions, 2006

Maluhia is the Hawaiian word for “peaceful.” That’s precisely the easy feeling renowned Maui vocalist, musician and kumu hula Reichel delivers on his first Christmas album. Maluhia is an often reflective collection of holiday tunes, sung in English and Hawaiian. Reichel wraps his warm, luxurious voice around Hawaiian hymns [an a capella version of “Nu Oli (Glad Tidings)”], traditionals (“O Holy Night”), contemporary songs (“Merry Christmas, Darling) and originals (songwriter Puakea Nogelmeier’s “Ke Au Maluhia”). The perfect soundtrack for a quiet Christmas Eve.

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Song samples of the 5 best Hawaii albums
Honolulu, Lahaina among Orbitz’s top Christmas destinations
Kauai’s 15th annual Festival of Lights showcases island-style Christmas folk art

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