Finalists named for Na Hoku Hanohano Awards
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Finalists named for Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / MAY 2015
                                Kawika Kahiapo was presented with an award for Slack Key Album at the 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Kahiapo also won in the Island Music Album category.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / MAY 2015

    Kawika Kahiapo was presented with an award for Slack Key Album at the 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Kahiapo also won in the Island Music Album category.

  • STAR-BULLETIN / 2008
                                Jimmy Borges and wife Vicki at the 2008 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

    STAR-BULLETIN / 2008

    Jimmy Borges and wife Vicki at the 2008 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

All thoughts will be on Jimmy Borges when the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts presents the 39th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards May 28 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Borges, 80, who announced in December he was dying of liver and lung cancer and would forgo further treatment, was named a finalist in four categories for his self-titled album, which was released in October. He has never won a Hoku Award before.

In the list of finalists released by HARA Sunday, Borges is competing for album of the year, male vocalist of the year, jazz album of the year and graphic design. He is also in the running for favorite entertainer of the year, which is determined by public vote. (Voting will open Friday at nahokuhanohano.org.)

“I’m really honored,” Borges said today after learning of the nominations. “It’s a nice charge.”

Borges said he decided to record his album after receiving his terminal diagnosis in August.

“I sang the songs as if I would have sung to anyone but I sang them with the most meaningful way that I could at that point in my life,” he said. “Telling the story is the most important thing to me, as opposed to the perfect technical nuance. I wanted to get as much perfection as I could. But I was also wanting to tell the story of Jimmy Borges at the age of 80 who is dying of cancer without asking for any handouts.”

The singer said he wants to win a Hoku on the album’s merits and not as a sentimental favorite.

“If I get my Hoku according to excellence in music, I will embrace it tightly because that will mean everything to me,” he said.

The Hokus are Hawaii’s regional equivalent of the Grammy Awards and bring with them the same excitement, controversy and bragging rights.

Borges is one of several hundred finalists this year. The overall front-runners are veteran Hawaiian music hit-makers Maunalua — Richard Gideon, Kahi Kaonohi and “Uncle Bobby” Moderow — who are finalists in eight categories. Close behind are Nathan Aweau and Chad Takatsugi, who have seven nominations each. Next is Natalie Ai Kamauu, a finalist at the 2016 Grammy Awards, with six.

The HARA membership will determine the winners in 25 categories. The Hawaiian language categories — haku mele and Hawaiian language performance — are judged by a panel of specialists in Hawaiian language and songwriting. The winners in two categories for studio engineering categories are selected by a panel of mainland studio engineers who do not work in the local recording industry.

39th ANNUAL NA HOKU HANOHANO AWARDS

>>Where: Hawai‘i Convention Center

>>When: 5 p.m. May 28

>> Cost: $135 (HARA members), $145 (Hawaii resident or military ID required), $165 (general admission) and $225 (VIP premium seating)

>>Info: 593-9424 or nahokuhanohano.org

One of the newest awards, international recognition album, is also selected by adjudication.

A category must have a minimum of three preliminary nominees to be active. The hip-hop category is dormant this year for that reason.

Here are the finalists:

GENERAL CATEGORIES

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

1. NATALIE AI KAMAUU, “La La La La” (Keko)

2. AMY HĀNAIALI‘I, “Chardonnay” (Ua)

3. MAILANI, “Pacific Gem” (Hā)

4. LILY MEOLA, “They Say…” (no label)

5. KIMIE MINER, Kimie Miner (Kimie Miner)

Group of the Year – Best performance by a vocal duo or group

1. BEN & MAILA, “All About Love” (Dream)

2. CRIMSON APPLE, “Hello” (Crimson Apple)

3. KAHULANUI, “From Hawai‘i to New York” (Kahulanui)

4. MAUNALUA, “He Inoa” (Lokahi)

5. ROUGH RIDERS, THE, “We Ride” (Rough Rider)

Male Vocalist of the Year – Best performance by a male artist

1. NATHAN AWEAU, “‘Āina Hānau” (Bass Plus Music Arts)

2. JIMMY BORGES, “Jimmy Borges” (Mountain Apple)

3. MICHAEL KEALE, “No Ka Beauty” (PRM)

4. MIKE LOVE, “Love Will Find A Way” (Love Not War)

5. SEAN NA‘AUAO, “Lehua Beauty” (Mountain Apple)

Album of the Year – Best album release of the year

1. “ĀINA HĀNAU,” Nathan Aweau (Bass Plus Music Arts) Nathan Aweau – producer

2. “CHARDONNAY,” Amy Hānaiali‘i (Ua) Michael Ruff – producer

3. “HE INOA,” Maunalua (Lokahi) Lokahi Records – producer

4. “JIMMY BORGES,” Jimmy Borges (Mountain Apple) Jon de Mello – producer

5. “LA LA LA LA,” Natalie Ai Kamauu (Keko) David Tucciarone, Natalie Ai Kamauu and Iolani Kamauu – producers

6. “LEHUA BEAUTY,” Sean Na‘auao (Mountain Apple) Jon de Mello – producer

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

1. BLAYNE ASING, “Young, Old Soul” (no label)

2. CRIMSON APPLE, “Hello” (Crimson Apple)

3. KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS CHILDREN’S CHORUS, “He Koa Mau A Mau” (KSBE)

4. LILY MEOLA, “They Say…” (no label)

5. TIM ROSE, “Tim Rose” (no label)

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

1. “365,” Kapena featuring Kalenaku (KDE)

2. “IN THE END (HISESSIONS),” Nathan Aweau (HiSessions)

3. “NEW MELODY,” Kapena featuring Pena Bu & Kay-Oh! (KDE)

4. “OHOHIA KO KA HONUA,” Kūpaoa (Hulu Kupuna)

5. “SHOWER TREE,” Natalie Ai Kamauu (Keko)

EP (“Extended Play”) of the Year – Best extended play release (between 3 and 8 songs) of newly released material

1. “ALOOOHA,” Danny and Nicholas Kaleikini (Ming Pur)

2. “BROTHER FOR THE PEOPLE,” Taz Vegas (RSM)

3. “FROM HAWAI‘I TO NEW YORK,” Kahulanui (Kahulanui)

4. “UKULELE WHAT?,” Ka‘imi Hanano‘eau (Loihi)

5. “WE RIDE,” The Rough Riders (Rough Rider)

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

1. “‘ĀINA HĀNAU” by Nathan Aweau from “‘ĀINA HĀNAU,” Nathan Aweau (Bass Plus Music Arts)

2. “HE MAKANA A KA PU‘UWAI” by Louis “Moon” Kauakahi from “A GIFT OF THE HEART,” Mark Yamanaka & Kūpaoa (Hulu Kupuna)

3. “MAUNALUA HE INOA” by Manu Boyd from “HE INOA,” Maunalua (Lokahi)

4. “SHOWER TREE” by Kihei Nahale-a and Natalie Ai Kamauu from “LA LA LA LA,” Natalie Ai Kamauu (Keko)

5. “UALE‘A O KA MAHINA” by Amy Hānaiali‘i from “CHARDONNAY,” Amy Hānaiali‘i (Ua)

Instrumental Composition – (Composer’s award) Best achievement in creating a first-time recorded insrumental composition

1. “Cassandra,” by Henry Kapono from “We Ride,” The Rough Riders (Rough Rider)

2. “Moemoea,” by Kris Fuchigami from “Moemoea,” Kris Fuchigami (Kris Fuchigami)

3. “Old Pali,” by Jeff Peterson from “O‘ahu,” Jeff Peterson (Peterson)

4. “Pi‘iholo Sunset,” by George Kahumoku Jr. from “Paniolo Slack Key — Songs of the Hawaiian Cowboy,” George Kahumoku Jr. (Kealia Farms)

5. “Summer of 81,” by Nathan Aweau from “‘Āina Hanau,” Nathan Aweau (Bass Plus Music Arts)

6. “Travels,” by Jake Shimabukuro from “Travels,” Jake Shimabukuro (Hitchhike)

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

1. NATALIE AI KAMAUU

2. NATHAN AWEAU

3. BEN & MAILA

4. JIMMY BORGES

5. AMY HĀNAIALI‘I

6. KAWIKA KAHIAPO

7. MAUNALUA

8. SEAN NA‘AUAO

9. JEFF PETERSON

10. STREETLIGHT CADENCE

11. MARK YAMANAKA & KŪPAOA

GENRE CATEGORIES

Alternative Album of the Year – Best performance of alternative music

1. “AMERICAN BOY,” Erin Smith (Erin Smith Music)

2. “BEYOND PARADISE,” Streetlight Cadence (Streetlight Cadence)

3. “HELLO,” Crimson Apple (Crimson Apple)

4. “STARK,” Sebastian Hughes (Stark)

5. “TIM ROSE,” Tim Rose (no label)

Anthology Album of the Year – (Producer’s award) Best album of previously released material

1. “30,” Kapena (KDE). Kapena De Lima – producer

2. “HŌ‘ULU‘ULU ‘ĒLUA, Kuuipo Kumukahi (Kumu 1). Kaohulani Aiu, Kuulei Haili and Kuualoha Zepeda — producers

3. “‘OHINA MELE,” Kenneth Makuakāne (KM). Kenneth Makuakāne, Jim Uyeda, and Keola Donaghy – producers

4. “ONCE THIS LIFETIME,” Dennis and Christy Soares (Elation). Dennis Soares – producer

5. “STILL CHASING THE SUN,” Dennis and Christy Soares (Elation). Dennis Soares – producer

Christmas Album of the Year – Best performance in a Christmas theme

1. “CHRISTMAS RUSH,” Abrigo ‘Ohana (Abrigo ‘Ohana)

2. “GIFT OF THE HEART, A,” Mark Yamanaka & Kūpaoa (Hulu Kupuna)

3. “METAL KALIKIMAKA – VOLUME 2,” Tin Idols (TIP)

Comedy Album of the Year – Best comedy performance release on album or DVD

1. “DEATH BY SNU SNU,” Harold Wong (Pass Out)

2. “ELECTRIC ISLAND,” Kepa Kruse (Petroglyph)

3. “I’M NOT THAT GUY,” Patrick Tyrrell (Pass Out)

4. “LIBRARY MAFIA,” Anthony Silano (Pass Out)

5. “SACRED SNAIL,” Oil In the Alley (Improverished)

Compilation Album of the Year – (Producer‘s award) Best performance of newly released material by a minimum of three distinct artists

1. “ALOHA ‘IA NŌ ‘O MAUI,” Institute of Hawaiian Music (no label). Keola Donaghy – producer

2. “DISCOVERED,” Various Artists (Elation). Dennis Soares – producer

3. “REFLECTIONS PROJECT – MAUI JAZZ 2015, THE,” Various Artists (Rock the Rock). Lauren Burgess and Steven Burgess – producers

4. “SUMMER DREAM,” Various Artists (Daddy Leopard). Brandon Apeles and Michelle Aquino – producers

Contemporary Album of the Year – Best performance in a contemporary style

1. “CHARDONNAY,” Amy Hānaiali‘i (Ua)

2. “ECHOES,” Aidan James (Aidan James)

3. “KIMIE MINER,” Kimie Miner (Kimie Miner)

4. “THEY SAY…,” Lily Meola (no label)

5. “YOUNG, OLD SOUL,” Blayne Asing (no label)

Hawaiian Music Album of the Year – Best performance of Hawaiian music

1. “AHUWALE,” Chad Takatsugi (Koops2)

2. “HE INOA,” Maunalua (Lokahi)

3. “LA LA LA LA,” Natalie Ai Kamauu (Keko)

4. “LEHUA BEAUTY,” Sean Na‘auao (Mountain Apple)

5. “MAKAHA SONS MEMOIRS,” Jerome Koko and Daniel Ho (DHC)

Instrumental Album of the Year – Best Instrumental performance

1. “BUDDY NOWHERE 1930’S,” Rich Crandall (Music Formats)

2. “PACIFIC HARP PROJECT,” Pacific Harp Project (Megan Bledsoe Ward)

3. “RAINBOW ROAD,” Nancy Shoop-Wu (Lei Hoku)

4. “SOLITARY WAY, A,” Dennis Soares (Elation)

5. “TOUCH THE SKY,” Eden Kai (Eden Kai)

6. “WHEN TIME STOOD STILL,” Dennis Soares (Elation)

Island Music Album of the Year – Best cotemporary performance of music of or about Hawai‘i

1. “‘ĀINA HĀNAU,” Nathan Aweau (Bass Plus Music Arts)

2. “ALL ABOUT LOVE,” Ben and Maila (Dream)

3. “GARDEN, THE,” Mele‘uhane: Keikilani and Leokani Lindsey (Tiki Time)

4. “LEGEND OF THE GREY WOLF, THE,” Dennis Kamakahi (Makai)

5. “NO KA BEAUTY,” Michael Keale (PRM)

Jazz Album of the Year – Best jazz performance

1. “JIMMY BORGES,” Jimmy Borges (Mountain Apple)

2. “KOELE MIST,” Henry Allen (Rainbow)

3. “LOVE WANTS TO DANCE,” Jimmy C (Jimmy C)

4. “SOIRĒE EDITH PIAF,” L’Escargot: Pierre Grill, Duane Padilla, and Mimi Hafele (RVR)

5. “SWANKY 2,” Patrick von Wiegandt (Von Wiegandt)

Music DVD of the Year – Best performance of music and video on a DVD

1. “BROTHER FOR THE PEOPLE – OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO,” Taz Vegas (RSM)

2. “KA ‘ELE KŪ,” Eddie Tanaka (Mystical Molokai)

3. “SWANKY 2 – MY VALENTINE,” Patrick von Wiegandt (Von Wiegandt)

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

1. “LIVE FROM KAUAI,” Taj Mahal & The Hula Blues Band (Kuleana)

2. “UNREQUITED,” Rikah (Indie)

3. “YEARS IN THE BREAKING,” Joni Llamedo (Joni Llamedo)

Religious Album of the Year – Best performance of religious material

1. “ARTIST OF MY LIFE,” Sons of Yeshua (Righteous Rudeboy)

2. “E MAVAE ATU TUPULAGA,” Penieli LOC Worship Team (no label)

3. “GREATER TOGETHER,” New Hope Oahu (NHO/Dream)

4. “MWAREITI KOP,” Arrows of Destiny Worship Academy (no label)

5. “ONE OHANA IN JESUS,” Randy, Gay, and Andrew Hongo (Christian Vision)

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

1. “AWAKENING,” Jamie Gallo (Jamie Gallo)

2. “BROKEN PROMISES,” 82Fifty (Lab munkeez)

3. “ENDANGERED SPECIES,” Stuart Hollinger (Keala)

4. “HEAVY CROWN, THE,” Pimpbot (Pass Out)

5. “STORM’S A BREWIN’,” Storm (TIP)

Slack Key Album of the Year – Best performance of slack key or vocals with slack key accompaniment

1. “NAHE‘OLU,” Patrick Landeza (Addison Street)

2. “O‘AHU,” Jeff Peterson (Peterson)

3. “PANIOLO SLACK KEY – SONGS OF THE HAWAIIAN COWBOY,” George Kahumoku, Jr. (Kealia Farms)

‘Ukulele Album of the Year – Best ‘ukulele performance

1. “JUS CUZ, UKULELE DUETS,” Da Ukulele Boyz (Peter D)

2. “LOW “G”,” Kimo Hussey (Neos)

3. “TRAVELS,” Jake Shimabukuro (Hitchhike)

4. “‘UKULELE FRIENDS,” Bryan Tolentino and Herb Ohta, Jr. (Neos)

5. “WE ARE MADE OF STARS,” Taimane (no label)

TECHNICAL CATEGORIES

GRAPHICS AWARD – Award for best total album packaging

1. MICHAEL HIPOLITO, for “BEYOND PARADISE” by Streetlight Cadence (Streetlight Cadence)

2. STACEY LEONG MILLS AND KARYN YASUI LAU, for “AHUWALE” by Chad Takatsugi (Koops2)

3. KEIKILANI LINDSEY, for “THE GARDEN” by Meleuhane: Keikilani and Leokani Lindsey (Tiki Time)

4. B. KANAI‘A NAKAMURA, for “HE INOA” by Maunalua (Lokahi)

6. B. KANAI‘A NAKAMURA, for “JIMMY BORGES” by Jimmy Borges (Mountain Apple)

Liner Notes Award – Award for best liner notes

1. CHAD TAKATSUGI AND DR. KEAWE LOPES, for “AHUWALE” by Chad Takatsugi (Koops2)

2. MICHAEL KEALE, for “NO KA BEAUTY” by Michael Keale (PRM)

3. JON MAGNUSSEN AND KALAMA CABIGON, for “PAKA ‘A LANAKILA” by Spring Wind Quintet (Chamber Music Hawaii)

4. GEORGE KAHUMOKU, JR., for “PANIOLO SLACK KEY – SONGS OF THE HAWAIIAN COWBOY” by George Kahumoku, Jr. (Kealia Farms)

5. HARRY B. SORIA, JR. AND NINA KEALI‘IWAHAMANA, for “PAULINE KEKAHUNA AND HER HAU‘OLI GIRLS” by Pauline Kekahuna and Her Hau‘oli Girls (Cord/Hana Ola)

ADJUDICATED CATEGORIES

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

1. “He Aloha Nu‘uanu” by Dr. Lisa Takatsugi and Chad Takatsugi, from “AHUWALE,” Chad Takatsugi (Koops2)

2. “He Wehi No Pauahi” by Kahikina De Silva and Chad Takatsugi, from “AHUWALE,” Chad Takatsugi (Koops2)

3. “Maunalua He Inoa” by Manu Boyd, from “HE INOA,” Maunalua (Lokahi)

4. “Nani Ke Ao Nei” by Lynell Bright, from “HE KOA MAU A MAU,” Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus (KSBE)

5. “Rose Oanona” by Chad Takatsugi, from “AHUWALE,” Chad Takatsugi (Koops2)

Hawaiian Language Performance Award – (Artist award) Best performance in the Hawaiian Language

1. Abrigo ‘Ohana, for ‘ŌPAE ‘ULA (Abrigo Ohana)

2. Institute of Hawaiian Music, for ALOHA ‘IA NŌ ‘O MAUI (no label)

3. Maunalua, for “HE INOA” (Lokahi)

4. Mele‘uhane: Keikilani and Leokani Lindsey, for “THE GARDEN” (Tiki Time)

5. Chad Takatsugi, for “AHUWALE” (Koops2)

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)

1. “KUPULAU,” Keiko (Ao Aqua)

2. “I AROUND,” Rio (no label)

3. “NEW WORLD,” Daichi Watanabe (Clever Sea)

4. “UKULELE MERRY CHRISTMAS,” Ryo Natoyama (Intense Music)

5. “UKULELE SPLASH,” Ryo Natoyama (Intense Music)

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