Broadcast to bring Hokus to statewide radio
THE annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, honoring local musical achievement, will be broadcast statewide on the radio for the first time this year.
Maui-based Visionary Related Entertainment LLC will simulcast the televised portion of the awards, to start at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, live from the Hawaii Convention Center.
The radio company also is preparing special programming around the simulcast, said Greg Everett, station manager for VRE's Maui cluster.
Morning show hosts Frank B. Shaner and Mandy Suganuma will host pre-show, red-carpet arrival coverage as early as 5 p.m., and the stations carrying the simulcast also will air a tribute to "all the previous Hoku winners of the past, to make it a really big event," he said.
"We're trying to increase awareness of local music as much as we can, by providing it on the radio."
The event has been televised live for several years, but many people work nights and don't have access to television, "but really appreciate Hawaiian music and have great affection for local artists. This gives them the opportunity to share in the awards ceremony and learn firsthand what happens," Everett said.
Stations to carry the Hokus, presented by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists, include KUMU-FM 94.7 on Oahu; KSRF-FM 95.9 on Kauai; KNUQ-FM, heard at 103.7 on the Big Island and South Maui and at 103.3 in Central and West Maui; and on KMKK-FM 102.3 on Molokai and in West Maui.
"Radio exposure is always great," said Marlene Sai, HARA president.
Sai would like to see all local artists get more exposure on more stations, but added that the first statewide radio broadcast is a "phenomenal" step.
The Hokus for years have been strictly a Waikiki hotel ballroom event, but this year it will be at the convention center for the first time.
HARA negotiated with three venues, and Sai said "the excitement of the convention center, the idea of it being the first time there and they, wanting to have us there, it really has been a favorable and a workable agreement, a win-win," she said.
The 5 p.m. red-carpet arrival event, the first in many years, promises to be a big deal.
In addition to VRE's presence, Cox Radio Hawaii, newspapers, "and some media people from Japan" will be there asking de rigueur questions such as, 'who are you wearing?' which is one reason HARA is kicking up the dress code.
Sai and the board of directors ask that attendees not wear slippers, shorts or baseball caps.
"We've been working hard at it, to give it the dignity and respect that this academy deserves, and also, all of its members deserve," she said.
The show will include a tribute to the late Don Ho as well as performances by many Hawaii headliners.
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