Grammy winners Daniel Ho and Tia Carrere are coming back to Hawaii this week to perform and discuss the controversy surrounding their success in the music industry awards and the recent restructuring of Grammy categories to eliminate the best Hawaiian music album category.
The discussion will be a special addition to the series of programs titled "… aia i ka wai … Dialogues on (the Present & Future of) Hawaiian Music: Debating Culture." It is sponsored by the Dai Ho Chun Distinguished Chair, the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s College of Arts and Humanities, Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies and the Gladys Brandt Chair in Polynesian Studies.
… AIA I KA WAI … DIALOGUES ON (THEPRESENT & FUTURE OF) HAWAIIAN MUSIC: DEBATING CULTURE
A performance and discussion, featuring Daniel Ho and Tia Carrere
When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawaii-Manoa, 2645 Dole St.
The free event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the center.
Amy Ku‘uleialoha Stillman also will participate in the moderated discussion with Ho and Carrere after the duo’s 45-minute performance. Stillman wrote the Hawaiian-language lyrics to Carrere’s two previous albums (released under the Daniel Ho Creations label), "‘Ikena" and "Huana ke Aloha," which won Grammys in 2009 and this year, respectively.
The Hawaii-born Stillman is an associate professor of American culture at the University of Michigan and a member of its Center for Southeast Asian Studies. She is the 2010-2011 Dai Ho Chun distinguished visiting professor in the UH College of Arts and Humanities.
Both Ho and Carrere were born and raised in Hawaii but now live and work in Los Angeles, giving rise to claims by some in the isle music industry that the pair are not representative of Hawaiian music and have an unfair advantage in the Grammy process.
In her announcement about Thursday’s program, Stillman wrote that "the successes of Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho in the Grammy Awards have drawn controversy, displeasure and attacks from the Hawaiian music community. Many of the attacks are irrelevant to the guidelines for Grammy Awards published by the Recording Academy."
She noted the academy’s sweeping reorganization of award categories announced this month "adds a new perspective to the volatile mixture of issues in play."
Starting next year, nominated Hawaiian albums will have to compete in the newly formed best regional roots music category, along with entries from other deleted music album categories, such as Native American, zydeco/Cajun and polka.