Kuana Torres Kahele, Na Palapalai among nominees for Hawaii's Na Hoku music awards

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Last year, at the 35th annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards ceremony (Hawaiian music industry’s equivalent to Grammys), Big Island vocalist/songwriter/musician Kuana Torres Kahele and his debut solo album, Kaunaloa, were the top winners.

Kahele (pictured, right), a founding member of multi-Hoku-award-winning group Na Palapalai, is in the running again (along with Na Palapalai’s other members, Kehau Tamure and Ioane Burns) for top honors, according to a list of finalists for 2013 Na Hoku awards released this week by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts.

Among the 36th annual Na Hoku Hanohano awards nominations: Male Vocalist of the Year (Kahele), Hawaiian Album of the Year (Na Palapalai), Album of the Year (Na Palapalai), Christmas Album of the Year (Kahele), and Liner Notes (Kahele). In addition, a nomination for graphics (best designed and created album package) is for work on Na Palapalai’s album titled Ha‘a. The nominated graphic artist is B. Kanai‘a Nakamura.

Last year, Kahele won the following awards: Male Vocalist of the Year, Hawaiian Album of the Year, Song of the Year (Na Vaqueros), Liner Notes, and Album of the Year. All awards were tied to Kaunaloa. An award for graphics went to Kuhao Zane and Kamele Eskaran for their work on Kaunaloa.

This year’s Na Hoku awards ceremony is slated for Sat., May 25 at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. Click here for more information.

Hawaii_Honolulu_music_awards

Here’s a list of some of this year’s Na Hoku finalists.

Female Vocalist of the Year — best performance by a female artist. Finalists: Anuhea, For Love (Anuhea Jams); Shar Carillo, Letting Go (Waiulu); Amy Hanaiali‘i,
 My Father’s Grandaughter (UA); Melveen Leed, I Wish You Love (ML Records); and Sunway, I’m Here (Princess Lily).

Male Vocalist of the Year — best performance by a male artist. Finalists:  Gary Aiko, Poina ‘Ole ‘Ia (Genoa Keawe Records); Nathan Aweau, ‘IO (Bass Plus); Manu Boyd, Mele ‘Ailana – Manu Boyd Island Music (Hui Waianuhea); Kuana Torres Kahele, Hilo for the Holidays (Kuana Torres Kahele); and Weldown Kekauoha, Pilialoha (‘Ohelo).

Most Promising Artist of the Year — most promising first-recorded effort as a featured artist or group. Finalists: Shar Carillo, Letting Go; Kamakakehau 
Fernandez, Wahi Mahalo; Kahulanui, Hula Ku‘i (Palm); Mike Love,
 The Change I’m Seeking (Love Not War); and Na Hoa, Na Hoa (Na Hoa).

Group of the Year — best performance by a vocal duo or group. Finalists: Ho‘okena, Huliau – “Music for All Seasons” (Ho‘omau); Kahulanui
, Hula Ku‘i (Palm); Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii, Na Keiki Mau Loa – Children Forever (Hawaiian Legacy); Na Hoa, Na Hoa (Na Hoa)
; Na Palapalai, Ha‘a (Kuana Torres Kahele); and Pahinui Hawaiian Band,
 Pahinui Hawaiian Band (Keala/Pahinui).

Single of the Year — best-recorded performance of a song released as a single in either physical (CD) or digital format. Finalists: Aloha Keauhou, Kenneth Makuakane and Keola Donaghy (Makuakane); It’s Never Easy, “Bruddah Waltah (Rubbah Slippah); Merry Christmas Darling, Waipuna (Poki); Who Loves You, Cyril Pahinui and Diana Aki; and You Love Me Good, Ekolu (Waiehu) Music Video/DVD.

Hawaiian Music Album of the Year — Best performance of Hawaiian music. Finalists: Ha‘a, Na Palapalai (Kuana Torres Kahele); Mele ‘Ailana –Manu Boyd Island Music,
 Manu Boyd (Hui Waianuhea) Na Hoa, Na Hoa (Na Hoa); Pahinui Hawaiian Band,
 Pahinui Hawaiian Band (Keala/Pahinui); and Pilialoha, Weldon Kekauoha (‘Ohelo).

Album of the Year — best album release of the year. Finalists: Ha‘a, Na Palapalai (Kuana Torres Kahele) Dave Tucciarone and Kuana Torres Kahele – producers; Hula Ku‘i, Kahulanui (Palm) Charles Michael Brotman – producer; ‘IO
 Nathan Aweau (Bass Plus) Nathan Aweau – producer; Na Hoa, Na Hoa (Na Hoa) Na Hoa and Dave Tucciarone – producers; and Pilialoha, Weldon Kekauoha (‘Ohelo) Dave Tucciarone and Weldon Kekauoha – producers.

Song of the Year — best achievement in creating a first-time recorded song. Finalists: Aia Ka La‘i I Ka‘uiki,  by ‘Iliahi Paredes from Pilialoha, Weldon Kekauoha (‘Ohelo);
 Ka Pua ‘Ano Lani, by Kuana Torres Kahele from Ha ‘a, Na Palapalai (Kuana Torres Kahele);
 Mele ‘Ailana by Manu Boyd from  Mele ‘Ailana – Manu Boyd Island Music, Manu Boyd (Hui Waianuhea); and Uhiwai by Nathan Aweau from ‘IO, Nathan Aweau (Bass Plus)
Wahinekona by Louis “Moon” Kauakahi from Huliau – “Music Foru all Seasons,”Ho‘okena (Ho‘omau).

For more information about the 36th annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, click here.

Photos: The Mountain Apple Co.

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