Star-Bulletin Features


Monday, May 24, 1999



By Dennis Oda Star-Bulletin
After Pure Heart picked up its first Hoku for Island Contemporary
Album of the Year, manager Sheldon Yamasato, center, gives an
emotional Lopaka Colon, left, and Jake Shimabukuro a hug.



Pure victory

Ukulele kings Pure Heart walk away with
academy and public votes for most promising
artist, best island contemporary album, album
of the year and favorite entertainer of the year

By John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Tapa

IT wasn't until his third trip to the podium at the 1999 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards last night that Jake Shimabukuro of Pure Heart could do more than choke out a few words of thanks. The charismatic ukulele player was so emotionally overwhelmed when the trio's debut album won in the Island Contemporary and Most Promising Artist(s) categories that he was in tears before he reached the stage. That left guitarist Jon Yamasato doing the talking and percussionist Lopaka Colon providing moral support as Shimabukuro tried to pull himself together.


By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Pure Heart picked up their second 'Hoku' for
Most Promising Artist of the Year



Shimabukuro's emotional vulnerability got the crowd pulling for him. He was almost his usual animated self when Pure Heart was named Favorite Entertainer(s) of Year, and spoke at length when the trio returned for Album of the Year honors as well.

It was a big night for Pure Heart. It was also a big night for two women whose individual debut albums had been brutally snubbed by the voting membership of the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts in years past. Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom's debut album didn't even make the final ballot in 1996, but "Hanaiali'i," her hit collaboration with Willie K, won four Hokus including Group of the Year and Hawaiian Album of the Year.


By Dennis Oda Star-Bulletin
Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom is all smiles with the
'Hokus' that she won with Willie K.



Kekuhi Kanahele's impressive first album was shut out in 1997, but her second, "Kekuhi," earned her Female Vocalist of the Year honors; Kanahele also accepted awards on behalf of Halau O Kekuhi and the album "Uwolani."

Last night's show ran longer than it should have but almost everyone behaved responsibly on stage. Many of the presenters eschewed the usual scripted pontificating and platitudes and got straight to business. Almost all the winners kept their remarks concise.


By Dennis Oda Star-Bulletin
Haaheo Cockett is all smiles after his father Kawai
Cockett, right, picked up his award for Male
Vocalist of the Year.



Augie Tulba was obviously ecstatic to win a Hoku on his third try -- he ran across the stage to get it. For Harry B. Soria Jr., 1999 is the third year in a row his work with HanaOla Records won Liner Notes honors. Conversely, it was the first time since 1994 that a Dancing Cat label slack-key master did not win in the Instrumental category.


By Dennis Oda Star-Bulletin
Kekuhi Kanahele steps up to the stage to pick up her second
'Hoku,' this one for Female Vocalist of the Year.



Na Leo Pilimehana displayed the poise of veterans when accepting a Hoku for "Christmas Gift" -- Lehua Kalima spoke briefly for all three.

Pomai Longakit had a sermon to read and a long list of people to thank but was so charming in attempting to say it all quickly that she won the patience of many who would have normally faulted her.

Frank DeLima as Cardinal Vermicelli, Frank B. Shaner as himself, and Sam Kapu and his (piece of) ginger lei, were the most entertaining presenters.


By Dennis Oda Star-Bulletin
Kekuhi Kananele gave a performance at the Hoku Award
ceremonies before picking up two awards.



Several speakers addressed serious secular topics. Melveen Leed called for still more live Hawaiian music in Waikiki and said it's time to "get rid of karaoke." Azure McCall recalled deceased local jazz greats Trummy Young and Ernie Washington. Kawai Cockett spoke eloquently of the ties between traditional Hawaiian music and hula. Kenneth Makuakane, a multi-Hoku winner and former member of the HARA Board of Governors, rebuked those current board members who relegated six Hoku categories, the Bill Murata scholarship, and the Bankoh Ki Ho'alu Award to secondary status by presenting them before the start of the televised show.

Many agreed with him. Eight performance segments was too many last night. Handing out three Lifetime Achievement Awards reduces their significance.


By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Jake Shimabukuro of Pure Heart
shows his excitement.




NA HOKU HANOHANO

Bullet FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Kekuhi Kanahele, "Kekuhi" (Mountain Apple)

Bullet MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Kawai Cockett, "A Traditional Hawaiian -- Na Mele Maoli" (Hula)

Bullet GROUP OF THE YEAR
Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom & Willie K, "Hanaiali'i" (Mountain Apple)

Bullet MOST PROMISING ARTIST(S)
Pure Heart, "Pure Heart" (Four String)

Bullet ANTHOLOGY OF THE YEAR
"From Irmgard, with Love," Irmgard Aluli and Puamana (Mountain Apple)

Bullet COMPILATION ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Lifesong," Various artists (Life Foundation)

Bullet HAWAIIAN ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Hanaiali'i," Amy Hanaiali'i & Willie K (Mountain Apple)

Bullet ISLAND CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Pure Heart," Pure Heart (Four String)

Bullet INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Great Grandmother, Great Grandson," Kapono Beamer (Onopak)

Bullet CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"No Boundaries," BB Shawn (Flying Solo)

Bullet COMEDY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Da Comedy Kahuna," Augie Tulba (KDE)

Bullet CHRISTMAS ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Christmas Gift," Na Leo Pilimehana (Na Leo Pilimehana)

Bullet ROCK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Mana," Sunburn (MRC)

Bullet REGGAE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"All Natural," Natural Vibrations (Cinnamon Red)

Bullet JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Body and Soul," Azure McCall (All Art)

Bullet SINGLE OF THE YEAR
"Ku'u Sweetie"/"Mai Lohilohi Mai 'Oe," Darlene Ahuna (Hula)

Bullet SONG OF THE YEAR
"Palehua," Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom and Willie Kahaiali'i from "Hanaiali'i" (Mountain Apple)

Bullet ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Pure Heart," Pure Heart (Four String)

Bullet GRAPHICS
Jon de Mello for "Iz in Concert -- The Man and His Music," Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (Big Boy)

Bullet ENGINEERING
Milan Bertosa for "Hanaiali'i," Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom & Willie K (Mountain Apple)

Bullet LINER NOTES
Harry B. Soria Jr. for "Hawaii's Golden Voice," Alfred Apaka (Hana Ola)

Bullet HAKU MELE
"Eo Mai 'O Ka'uku," Nalani Kanka'ole and Pualani Kanaka'ole, from "Uwolani," Halau O Kekuhi (Liko)

Bullet HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE PERFORMANCE
Halau O Kekuhi, "Uwolani" (Liko)
Na Kama, "Ke Ala Hou" (Kipuka)

Bullet LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Lena Machado, entertainer, musician, composer and recording artist known as "Hawaii's songbird"

Kimo McVay, manager, booking agent, promoter and entrepreneur

Randy Oness, entertainer, musician, band leader

Bullet FAVORITE ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Pure Heart (by public vote)

Bullet BILL MURATA SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
Tyler Nakamura

Bullet BANK OF HAWAII KI HO'ALU AWARD
KCCN-AM and KINE-FM




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