Three Hawaii-resident artists are among this year’s contenders as The Recording Academy announces the finalists for best regional roots music album at the 2020 Grammy Awards.
Multi-talented Amy Hanaiali‘i adds another Grammy nomination to her resume with her acclaimed current album, “Kalawai‘anui,” a celebration of family and genealogy, which was released May 31.
Hanaiali’i, who also produced the album, said she was “very grateful for the nomination.”
“I had an incredible time producing this album. I really enjoyed working with my cousin Kumu Micah Kamohoali’i with lyrics and language. I have learned a lot with genealogy and dedicated this album to Kalawai’anui (who was the brother of Queen Emma’s grandmother).”
Hawaii recording artists Imua Garza and Kimie Miner are finalists for their work as the producers of the compilation album, “Hawaiian Lullaby.” Under the Grammy rules, when a compilation album wins a Grammy the award goes to the producer or producers of the album and not to the individual artists whose music is used in the project. That puts Garza and Miner in play as finalists.
This year’s other three finalist albums are:
>> “When It’s Cold – Cree Round Dance Song” – Northern Cree. The Canadian powwow and round dance drum and singing group is returning as Grammy finalists, representing the many traditions of native American culture, for the ninth time.
>> “Good Time” – Ranky Tanky. Based in Charleston, S.C., the quintet specializes in jazz-influenced arrangements of the traditional African American Gullah music of the U.S. Southeast.
>> “Recorded at the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival” – Rebirth Brass Band. The New Orleans marching band won the Grammy in this category in 2012.
Recording artists from Louisiana have dominated the best regional roots music category since it was created in 2011 as a catch-all replacement for the separate categories that had previously existed for Hawaiian, Native American, Cajun and zydeco music. Kalani Pe’a’s wins in 2017 and 2019 are the only times since the category was created that the winner was not a Cajun or zydeco artist.
That makes it worthy of note that for the first time since the category was created only one artist representing the multi-ethnic music of Louisiana has made it to the final ballot.
The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will take place Jan. 26, 2020, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.