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Reichel tops at 38th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Keali'i Reichel performed the title track to his album "Kawaiokalena" during the opening of the 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on Saturday evening.

  • Keali'i Reichel performed the title track to his album "Kawaiokalena" during the opening of the 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on Saturday evening.
  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Kawika Kahiapo won in the Slack Key Album category at the 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on Saturday evening. Kahiapo also won in the Island Music Album category.
  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Kawika Kahiapo was presented with an award for Slack Key Album at the 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on Saturday evening. Kahiapo also won in the Island Music Album category.
  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Richard Ho'opi'i performed with Na Hoa at the opening of the 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on Saturday evening.
  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Richard Ho'opi'i performed with Na Hoa at the opening of the 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on Saturday evening.
  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Keali'i Reichel performed the title track to his album "Kawaiokalena" during the opening of the 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on Saturday evening.
  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Keali'i Reichel performed the title track to his album "Kawaiokalena" during the opening of the 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on Saturday evening.
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The year was 1995 — 20 years ago — when Keali‘i Reichel and his debut album, “Kawaipunahele,” came close to sweeping the 18th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Reichel won in five categories, including favorite entertainer, popular Hawaiian album, male vocalist of the year and album of the year. The award for album of the year goes to the producer(s) as well as the artist, and since Reichel was one of the producers of his debut album that upped his total tally to six.

Reichel did even better last night as “Kawaio­ka­lena,” the album rumored to mark the end of his career as a recording artist, was the runaway winner at the 38th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Counting a win for studio engineering that went to the album’s three engineers, Reichel and his album won in eight categories

Reichel’s personal wins included male vocalist of the year for the fifth time, favorite entertainer for the fourth time and album of the year with double wins as artist and producer for the fourth time, and favorite entertainer, the only award category determined by public vote, also for the fourth time.

Reichel also won both of the adjudicated categories for Hawaiian language songwriting and performance. 

No one else won more than two awards.

The short list of people who won two Hokus included Jim Linkner and Shawn Pimental, who received awards for their work as co-producers and co-engineers of Reichel’s album. A third member of Reichel’s production team, recording studio engineer Michael Grande, also received a Hoku Award for his work engineering Reichel’s album; Grande won his second Hoku as the sole winner in the other engineering category.

Hawaiian music veteran Kawika Kahiapo added two Hokus to his lifetime collection, and did it with wins for two different albums. Kahiapo won island music album with “Ku‘u ‘Aina Aloha” and slack key album with “Ho‘omaluhia.” He was the only recording artist this year to win awards with different projects.

“Slack key is a language all its own,” he said after winning album of the year. “It’s Hawaii, it’s pure.”

Hu‘ewa won most promising artist(s) and group of the year. The double win made Hu‘ewa the sixth group in the history of the Hoku Awards to win those two categories in same year. They join The Krush (1981), Ho‘okena (1991), HAPA (1994), ‘Ale‘a (2001) and Na Hoa (2013) on that page of Hoku history. 

Bobby Moderow, who won the Ki Ho‘alu Foundation Legacy Award, said, “It all began when a Hawaiian said he would teach this Portuguese boy how to play slack key. Without Uncle Ray (Kane) and his wife. Elodia, I wouldn’t be here.”

He added, “I called him out of the phone book, so when anybody calls me and asks me for lessons, I make time.”

The HARA membership determined the winners in 24 categories. The winner of Favorite Entertainer was determined by public vote. Winners in the two Hawaiian language categories — Haku Mele and Hawaiian Language Performance — are selected by a panel of specialists in Hawaiian songwriting. The winners in the two categories for studio engineering are selected by a panel of mainland studio engineers who do not work in the local recording industry.

The winner of one of the newest awards, International Album, is also selected by adjudication. The criteria used in adjudicating that category and the qualifications of the adjudicators have not been made public.

2015 NA HOKU HANOHANO AWARD WINNERS

Female Vocalist

Mailani, “A Lot Like Love” (Ha)

Instrumental Composition (composer’s award)

“1,000 Crystals,” by Pali Ka‘aihue from “1,000 Crystals,” Pali Ka‘aihue (PK)

Male Vocalist

Keali‘i Reichel, “Kawaiokalena” (Punahele)

Group of the Year

Hu‘ewa, “Hu‘ewa” (Ha)

Most Promising Artist(s)

Hu‘ewa, “Hu‘ewa” (Ha)

Single of the Year (physical CD or digital)

“‘Ohai Ali‘i Kaluhea,” Kuana Torres Kahele (KTK)

EP (“Extended Play”) of the Year (must have between three and eight songs and less than 30 minutes of total playing time)

“Cha-Lang-A-Lang Christmas,” Na Hoa (Na Hoa)

Album of the Year — awarded to artist(s) and producer(s)

“Kawaiokalena,” Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele); Keali‘i Reichel, Fred Krauss, Jim Linkner, Shawn Pimental and Michael Grande, producers

Song of the Year (composer’s award)

“Kawaiokalena,” by Keali‘i Reichel from “Kawaiokalena,” Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)

Contemporary Album

“Reunion,” Amy & Willie K (Island Soul)

Island Music Album

“Ku‘u ‘Aina Aloha,” Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)

Rock Album

“Live Duke’s on Sunday 2,” Henry Kapono (Kapono)

Hawaiian Music Album

“Kawaiokalena,” Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)

Jazz Album

“Good Thing,” Maggie Herron (no label)

Instrumental Album

“Jus’ Cruzin’,” Ledward Kaapana (Jus’ Press)

Alternative Album

“Kalakaua Avenue,” Streetlight Cadence (Streetlight Cadence)

Christmas Album

“Endless Christmas,” Ginai (Black Hawaiian)

Slack Key Album

“Ho‘omaluhia,” Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)

Reggae Album

“Paradise,” Kolohe Kai (RKD)

Religious Album

“Victorious,” New Hope Oahu (Dream Worship)

R&B Album

“Waking Up,” Maryanne Ito (InTribal Scribings)

Compilation Album of the Year — awarded to Hawaii resident producer(s)

“Island Style Ukulele 2,” various artists (Neos); Bob and Pati St. John, producers

Favorite Entertainer (determined by public vote)

Keali‘i Reichel 

Graphics — awarded to Hawaii resident designer(s)

Wailani Artates, for “Olanui,” by Sean Robbins (Sean Robbins)

Liner Notes — awarded to Hawaii resident annotator(s)

Neil J. Hannahs, for “E Mau Ke Aloha” by Waipuna (Poki)

Haku Mele — awarded to composer(s) of first-time recorded Hawaiian language song

“Kawaiokalena,” by Keali‘i Reichel from “Kawaiokalena,” Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)

Hawaiian Language Performance Award — awarded to artist

Keali‘i Reichel, “Kawaiokalena” (Punahele)

Engineering Awards — awarded to Hawaii resident engineer(s)

Hawaiian Genre

Michael Grande, Jim Linkner and Shawn Pimental, for “Kawaiokalena,” Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)

Non-Hawaiian

Michael Grande, for “They Come and They Go,” Reggie Padilla (Pass Out)

International Album — (non-U.S. artists only)

“Kepani,” Kentaro Tsushima (School Bus)

Ki Ho‘alu Foundation Legacy Award 

Bobby Moderow Jr.

Moe Keale “Aloha Is” Award 

Melveen Leed

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