By Trisha Kehaulani Watson, Native Hawaiian Liaison Office, U.S. Army Garrison-HawaiiMay 24, 2013
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Every year, the Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts hosts a spectacular awards show honoring the best of Hawai'i's music; the show is known as the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards.
The 36th annual awards take place Saturday, May 25, at the Hawai'i Convention Center in Waikīkī.
The awards are the Hawaiian music industry's biggest night and the culminating event of Mele Mei, May's monthlong celebration of Hawaiian music.
The significance of the event was explained by Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts Vice President Kale Hannahs, a multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning musician himself.
"For over three decades, H.A.R.A. has led the effort to champion and celebrate the best of Hawai'i's music. While the association has strong roots in Hawaiian music, and was instrumental in catapulting Hawaiian music to the global stage, it is truly an association that celebrates all the wonderful forms of music created in Hawai'i," Hannahs said.
Hannahs explained how the event has grown in recent years to include awards in new genres, like alternative music, which was added an award category this year.
"While Hawai'i is primarily known for Hawaiian music, most people don't realize that Hawai'i also has quite an amazing rock, hip hop and alternative music scene. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to highlight some of our best local talent from those genres. It will only show how much music in Hawai'i continues to grow and evolve," Hannahs noted.
May is a very important month for native Hawaiian arts and music. Both MAMo and Mele Mei take place this month.
MAMo stands for Maoli Arts Month; Maoli is a Hawaiian word for the term "native." The month celebrates Native Hawaiian arts and artisans across the state. A large family-friendly Native Hawaiian arts festival will be held at Bishop Museum, May 25-26. It is open to the public.
Mele Mei (Hawaiian for May Music) is the month of Hawaiian music festivals and celebrations led by H.A.R.A. It includes numerous public performances by many of Hawai'i's most famed musicians.
The Nā Hōkū Hanohano award show is preceded Friday, May 24, by the Nā Hōkū Music Festival, which is a day of music workshops featuring some of Hawai'i's best local musicians. It offers the public an opportunity to learn from those in the music business.
Leilehua Summer Concert Series
The Leilehua Summer Concert Series continues Friday, June 7, at 6 p.m. at the Leilehua Golf Course with a performance by Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner Nathan Aweau.
Admission is free, with food and drinks available for purchase.
•June 7, Nathan Aweau;
•July 13, Mike Ka'awa; and
•Aug. 10, Kawika Kahiapo.