Harry B. Soria Jr. is up against himself in two Hoku award categories. Pictured, from left are Soria, Eddie Kamae, Kawai Cockett, Don McDiarmid Jr. and Genoa Keawe.

3 acts set Hoku
nominations pace

No question about it, this is a year unlike any other for the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) and the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

award While the Hokus have been described for years as "Hawaii's equivalent of the Grammys," Friday's awards show comes almost four months after "Slack Key Guitar Vol. 2," produced by Big Island-based Charles Michael Brotman, was voted the winner in the Grammys' new "Best Hawaiian Music Album" category, with Brotman becoming the first member of the Hawaii recording industry to win the prestigious award.

After almost three decades, when it seemed that a Hoku was the highest form of peer recognition a recording artist in Hawaii could aspire to, the odds of winning a Grammy were increased exponentially by the establishment of a special genre category for Hawaiian music. True, eligibility isn't limited to just Hawaii residents, but even so, for artists whose distribution qualifies them for Grammy consideration, winning a Hoku now occupies an intermediate position between the Grammys on one hand and the Hawaii Music Awards on the other.

That's not saying that this year's Hoku winners won't cherish their awards any less. A win or two would be especially sweet for the Brothers Cazimero, who came home from the Grammys empty-handed, but could win as many as seven Hokus, including Album of the Year, Hawaiian Album of the Year and Group of the Year, for their current album, "Some Call It Aloha ... Don't Tell."

Due to the different calendar years used by HARA and the Grammys' National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) in determining eligibility, Keali'i Reichel's superb family portrait, "Ke'alaokamaile," was a contender in the 2004 Hoku Awards, winning seven. So his participation in this year's awards will only be as a performer.

By the way, a Hoku win would be nice for Brotman as well. His Grammy-winning compilation isn't on the ballot, but another instrumental compilation of his, "Hula! Big Island Style," is.

Awards show

28th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

Where: Coral Ballroom, Hilton Hawaiian Village

When: 5 p.m. Friday

Tickets: $95 general and $200 premium seats (price includes dinner and show)

Call: 235-9424

Note: The awards show will be televised live on KFVE, starting at 7:30 p.m.

AND SO on Friday, HARA will be announcing its winners in 22 categories. Although the dinner starts at 5 p.m., the awards presentation will probably start around 6:30, with live television coverage beginning an hour later, when about a third of the awards have already been presented.

Winners in the remaining categories will be announced between performances by a hodgepodge of artists that includes some of those in the Most Promising Artist(s) category, all of the nominees for Song of the Year, the nominees with the greatest number of nominations over all, and ukulele legend Bill Tapia.

Footage from HARA's Lifetime Achievement Awards show in March will be rerun during the telecast.

Winners in 19 categories are determined by the votes of the HARA membership. A panel of Hawaiian music and language specialists chooses the finalists and winners of Haku Mele and Hawaiian Language Performance.

The Favorite Entertainer of the Year award is the only Hoku determined by public vote. Darlene Ahuna, 'Ale'a, the Brothers Cazimero, Raiatea Helm, Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Na Leo, Pali, the late Dennis Pavao, Owana Salazar and Jake Shimabukuro are the finalists this year.

Traditionalist Hawaiian artists again dominate in all but the genre categories. 'Ale'a, the Cazimeros and Helm lead with seven nominations and face each other in two categories. Hewett, Salazar and Na Palapalai have six nominations each.

IT WOULDN'T be the Hoku Awards if there weren't some question regarding some aspect in the way the HARA Board of Governors does things. For instance, Hawaii recording artists are still releasing CD singles, so who eliminated the popular Single of the Year category?

It will also be interesting to see if deceased artists win in any of the major categories. "Few More Drops," by the late Wendell Warrington, and posthumously released recordings by Moe Keale and Dennis Pavao, occupy three of the five slots for Male Vocalist. Warrington is also up for Religious Album and Most Promising Artist(s) awards, and Pavao could win in either the Contemporary Hawaiian Album and Hawaiian Album categories.

And, in an interesting turn of events, prolific record producer and album annotator Harry B. Soria Jr., is competing against himself in two categories. Soria is the producer of two anthologies, "Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders" and "Territorial Airwaves," and wrote the Hoku Award-nominated liner notes for the two albums as well.

Dave Tucciarone, another prior Hoku winner, has two nominations in the Engineering category for his work on the albums by Salazar and Helm.

Select list of 2005 Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominees:

Album of the Year
» "Eddie Kamae -- Sons of Hawaii," Eddie Kamae & The Sons of Hawaii
» "Hula Jazz," Owana Salazar
» "Ke 'Ala Beauty," Na Palapalai
» "Some Call It Aloha ... Don't Tell," Brothers Cazimero
» "Sweet & Lovely," Raiatea Helm

Song of the Year
» " 'Ala Anuhea" by Robert Cazimero, from "Some Call It Aloha ... Don't Tell," Brothers Cazimero
» "Dangerous" by Lei Melket & Aaron Kimura, from "Dangerous," Keahiwai
» "He Pule No Na Koa O Hawaii" by Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, from "Ulu Kau," Kawaikapuokalani Hewett
» "Hula Jazz" by Owana Salazar, from "Hula Jazz," Owana Salazar
» "Kaloke Polena" by Tony Conjugacion, from "Sweet & Lovely," Raiatea Helm

Female Vocalist of the Year
» Darlene Ahuna, "Bridge Between Generations"
» Leilani Rivera Bond, "Na Hana A Ke Aloha, the Works of Love"
» Raiatea Helm, "Sweet & Lovely"
» Melveen Leed, "Part of Me, A Part of You"
» Owana Salazar, "Hula Jazz"

Male Vocalist of the Year
» Danny Couch, "I Love Hawaii -- The Journey"
» Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, "Ulu Kau"
» Moe Keale, "Hawaii's Treasure Uncle Moe Keale Live in Waikiki"
» Dennis Pavao, "Golden Voice of Hawaii, Vol. I"
» Wendell Warrington, "Few More Drops"

Group of the Year
» 'Ale'a, "Kaulupono"
» Brothers Cazimero, "Some Call It Aloha ... Don't Tell"
» Na Leo, "Find Harmony"
» Na Palapalai, "Ke 'Ala Beauty"
» Pali, "In Harmony"

Hawaiian Album
» "Golden Voice of Hawaii, Vol. I," Dennis Pavao
» "Ke 'Ala Beauty," Na Palapalai
» "Some Call It Aloha ... Don't Tell," Brothers Cazimero
» "Sweet & Lovely," Raiatea Helm
» "Ulu Kau," Kawaikapuokalani Hewett

Haku Mele
» "Ilolialoha" by Kiope Raymond and Robert Cazimero, from "Some Call it Aloha ... Don't Tell," Brothers Cazimero
» "Hanohano Wailuaanuiaho'ano" by Charles Ka'upu, from "Ke Aka Reflections: Past, Present, Future," Charles Ka'upu
» "Ka Lehua Punono" by Chad Takatsugi and Kalikolihau Hannahs, from "Kaulupono," 'Ale'a
» "Kinoike Kekaulike" by Kimo Alama Keaulana, from "Hula Lives!," Kimo Alama Keaulana
» "Ku'u 'aina Ho'oheno" by Kuana Torres, from "Ke'ala Beauty," Na Palapalai

Most Promising Artist(s)
» Hula Honeys, "Life Just Got Sweeter"
» Inoa 'Ole, "Genres"
» Brittni Paiva, "Brittni X 3"
» Jordan Segundo, "Jordan"
» Wendell Warrington, "Few More Drops"

» "Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders," Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders
» "Eddie Kamae -- Sons of Hawaii," Eddie Kamae & The Sons of Hawaii
» "Fifty Greatest Hawai'i Music Albums Ever," Various artists
» "Panini Collection," Various artists
» "Territorial Airwaves," Various artists

Compilation Album
» "Aloha Festivals Hawaiian Falsetto Contest Winners, Vol. 5"
» "Hula! Big Island Style"
» "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key No. 1"
» "Na Kahu -- Aloha ke Akua"
» "Tiny CD 4 -- Motown Hawaiian Style"

Contemporary Album
» "Dangerous," Keahiwai
» "Duke's on Sunday," Henry Kapono
» "Find Harmony," Na Leo
» "Pa'ani," David Kamakahi
» "Vaihitian," Vaihi

Contemporary Hawaiian Album
» "I Love Hawaii -- The Journey," Danny Couch
» "In Harmony," Pali
» "Kaulupono," 'Ale'a
» "Keiki Kupuna," Dennis Pavao
» "Part of Me, a Part of You," Melveen Leed

Hawaiian Language
» 'Ale'a, "Kaulupono"
» Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, "Ulu Kau"
» Charles Ka'upu, "Ke Aka Reflections: Past, Present, Future"
» Kimo Alama Keaulana, "Hula Lives!"
» Na Palapalai, "Ke 'Ala Beauty"

Instrumental Album
» "Brittni X 3," Brittni Paiva
» "Hawaiian Steel Vol. 3," Byrd's Nest
» "Tropical Swing," Bill Tapia
» "Ukulele Breeze," Herb Ohta Jr.
» "Walking Down Rainhill," Jake Shimabukuro

Reggae Album
» "Back to the Valley -- The 3rilogy," Ekolu
» "Contents of Truth," Native Blend
» "Independence Day," Fiji
» "Open Doors for Strangers," Nuff Sedd
» "Rising Son," O-Shen

Rock Album
» "Fly," Dave Seawater
» "In with the Old," Pepper
» "Under a Native Moon," SugahDaddy

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