The 2018 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Jazz Album of the Year was given to Big Island Kings of Hawaiian Swing group, Kahulanui for Mele Ho’oilina produced by Kahulanui LLC and Michael Surprenant of Mana Music Studio.
Also presented was the award for Instrumental Composition of the Year, Kahulanui Boogie Woogie composed by Bill Noble who performs with the group.
The album Mele Ho’oilina was inspired by all the forerunners of the Hawaiian Swing genre including the grandfather of band leader Lena Naipo. It was a great thrill for Lena’s father who was also in attendance at the Awards ceremony show.
Kahulanui was also nominated for two other categories: Group of the Year and for Graphics Award by Scarlet Eskildsen, both coveted and esteemed awards.
This was a big win for the group as they continue to perpetuate the blending of genres and cultures in Hawaiian music.
Message from group: Kahulanui is grateful for all of the musician brothers and sisters who helped to make this latest album (Mele Ho’oilina) a Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner! Especially, to Michael Surprenant, Sarah Bethany, Joshua Timmons, Mike Lewis, Brian Christ, Andrea Lindborg and Loren Frank Wilken. Mahalo nui loa to Dave Pierce for making such an amazing contribution to Hawaiian music with his arrangement of Ka Ua Loku. And, all of the musicians who have helped Kahulanui along the way: Garry Russell, Duncan Bamsey, Frank Musacchio, Eldred Ahlo, Payton Meyer, and Jenny Brown. Mahalo Jody and Charles Brotman for getting us off the ground and for your continued support!!
Kahulanui is on tour this summer. Look for complete schedule at www.kahulanui.com