On The Scene
hoku awards hana hou!
Hoku Zuttermeister, fourth from left, was surrounded by family and was literally up to his ears in leis as he waited for the ballroom doors to open at the 31st Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards last Tuesday at the Hawai'i Convention Center. Zuttermeister was wearing contemporary formal attire when he arrived but decided that an aloha shirt and black slacks were more comfortable. Kalei Zuttermeister, left, Hayden and Tiffanie Wilson, Leiha'aheo Wilson, Darci O'Toole and Susan and Carl Zuttermeister were among the ohana who saw Zuttermeister and his debut album, "'Aina Kupuna," win six Hoku Awards.
Milton Lau, right, congratulated Jeff Peterson backstage after presenting him with the Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts 2008 Ki Ho'alu Award. The slack-key award was one of eight that announced before the start of the televised coverage, while the ballroom audience was eating, and so only a few people heard Peterson thank his father for encouraging his childhood interest in slack key.
Eric Lagrimas, left, played the role of executive assistant to Max Murdoch, lead vocalist of Max Murdoch and the Northern Soul Project, a finalist in the rock-album category. "Maximum Stompers" was actually an imaginative one-man project by Fernando "The Love Machine" Pacheco, and the two or three keen-eyed music industry veterans who recognized "Murdoch" as Pacheco didn't spoil his masquerade.
Slack-key guitarist Keoki Kahumoku, left, flew in from Hilo to represent an album he produced, "Songs From Hawai'i Island," which was a finalist for top compilation. It didn't win, but Kahumoku was delighted to run into Hawaiian country music pioneer Ernie Cruz Sr., center, outside the ballroom, and introduced his cousin, Samson Kahumoku, to Cruz.
By the time the televised show passed the two-hour mark, many people had gravitated to the bar in the back of the ballroom. Maunalua's "Uncle Bobby" Moderow Jr., left, joined Kale Hannahs, Mark Yim, Makaloa Lim, Keao Costa and Jack Afoia as they partied and talked story about previous Hoku shows. Makaloa said this was the first one she'd attended as an adult: "My dad brought me when I was little, but I was backstage and don't remember much."