The award-winning producer is up for his fourth Grammy in a row


POSTED: Monday, December 29, 2008

It's been another career-best year for Grammy Award-winning record producer Daniel Ho. The Saint Louis graduate and his producer-partners Paul Konwiser and Wayne Wong made it three straight in February when their 2007 compilation album, “;Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar,”; beat releases by Keola Beamer, Raiatea Helm, Cyril Pahinui and expatriate local girl Tia Carrere to win the Hawaiian-music Grammy in Los Angeles.






        This year's choices:


Manti Te'o, Punahou football star


Christina Hemming, Maui activist


Panos Prevedouros, UH professor


Peggy Chun, artist


Ian T.T. Santee, paramedic


Bryan Clay, Olympic gold medalist


Utu Langi,


H-5 founder



Ho and his partners learned earlier this month that their latest compilation, “;The Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar,”; is one of the five finalists in that same category for the 2009 Grammys.

“;It is an exciting time for everyone,”; Ho said when he got the news.

The possibility of a “;four-peat”; can't be ignored, but Ho's stature as a music industry professional and representative of Hawaiian music—slack key and ukulele in particular—was evident elsewhere, as well.

“;Ikena,”; his second album with Carrere, was released to good reviews in September, and, like its predecessor, “;Hawaiiana,”; it is a Grammy finalist. But where “;Hawaiiana”; was listed as solo project by Carrere, with Ho credited as the producer and musician, “;Ikena”; credits them both as performing duo. That gives Ho a shot at winning a Grammy as a performer rather than as the producer of a compilation.

Ho describes it self-deprecatingly as “;riding on the coattails of Tia Carrere. But I've been doing that since high school, when I got my first chance to play at the Waikiki Shell as her pianist in the 'Brown Bags to Stardom' talent show.”;

Ho's other career accomplishments in 2008 included performing “;Nothing Compares 2 U,”; “;These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”; and “;Everybody Hurtz”; as a member of the Coconutz on the soundtrack of “;Forgetting Sarah Marshall”;; releasing his second solo pop album, “;Sunny Spaces”;; and recording a third instrumental album with Herb Ohta Jr., “;2 to Three Feet: Ukuleles in Paradise 3.”;

Ho also teamed up with Carrere for a special performance at Sacred Hearts Academy's 13th Annual Scholarship Fund Dinner in the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom in October. That night, he showed that for all his success, he is still a local boy at heart. Although many people there viewed him as a celebrity, Ho was thrilled to discover that he was sharing a banquet table with Hoku Award-winning composer and song parody writer Patrick Downes, and told Downes that he had been a fan of his work for years.

“;I knew him as the writer of 'Waimea Lullaby,' which is one of my favorite Hawaiian songs because of its beautifully structured melody and picturesque lyrics. What I didn't realize was that he was the man behind many of Frank De Lima's classics—'Glen Miyashiro,' 'Abdullah Fataai,' 'Filipino Purple Danube' and many others. Tia and I were singing his songs at the top of our lungs, looking at each other in disbelief as we searched our memories for the words—most of which we remembered!”;

  In a daily countdown, the Star-Bulletin is profiling 10 people who have made a difference in Hawaii during the past year.

These are people who worked in any field—community service, education, politics, law, labor, medicine, science, business, sports, entertainment, the arts—to make a difference. Some fought controversial battles in public.

All that matters is that each, to the one, had a devotion to their cause that made a profound impact on Hawaii.