The 2015 Nā Hoku Hanohano Awards


Photo by Ricky Li

The stars came out to shine last night at the 38th annual Nā Hoku Hanohano Awards, held again at the Hawaii Convention Center. The big highlight of the night was longtime singer and kumu hula Keali’i Reichel winning eight awards, marking 35 Nā Hoku awards in his career.

With his latest album, “Kawaiokalena,” Reichel won all three awards for Hawaiian language (haku mele, Hawaiian language performance, and Hawaiian album of the year) and for sound/mix engineering, favorite entertainer (people’s choice), male vocalist of the year, song of the year and album of the year. Reichel is rumored to be looking at retirement from music to focus more on hula, so this was a perfect finale for him.

Kawika Kahiapo was the only recording artist this year to win awards with different projects: music album with “Ku‘u ‘Aina Aloha” and slack key album with “Ho‘omaluhia.” Newcomers Hū’ewa won most promising artist, as well as group of the year — over veteran artists Waipuna and Amy Hanaiali’i and Willie K. All the winners are listed below.

As usual, the event featured collaborative performances with various nominees, as well. (Videos to be posted as they are uploaded.) Here are some of the scenes from last night’s gala, also provided by Ricky Li and Crystal Yamasaki:

Nā Hoku Hanohano Awards 2015

Nā Hoku Hanohano Awards 2015
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The winner’s list is as follows:

Female Vocalist:  Mailani, “A Lot Like Love” (Ha)

Male Vocalist: Keali‘i Reichel, “Kawaiokalena” (Punahele)

Group of the Year: Hu‘ewa, “Hu‘ewa” (Ha)

Single of the Year (physical CD or digital): “‘Ohai Ali‘i Kaluhea,” Kuana Torres Kahele (KTK)

Album of the Year — awarded to artist(s) and producer(s): “Kawaiokalena,” Keali‘i Reichel IMG_6146 edit(Punahele); Keali‘i Reichel, Fred Krauss, Jim Linkner, Shawn Pimental and Michael Grande, producers

Song of the Year (composer’s award): “Kawaiokalena,” by Keali‘i Reichel from “Kawaiokalena,” Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)

Favorite Entertainer (determined by public vote): Keali‘i Reichel

Most Promising Artist(s):  Hu‘ewa, “Hu‘ewa” (Ha)

Instrumental Composition (composer’s award): “1,000 Crystals,” by Pali Ka‘aihue from “1,000 Crystals,” Pali Ka‘aihue (PK)

EP (“Extended Play”) of the Year (must have between three and eight songs and less than 30 minutes of total playing time): “Cha-Lang-A-Lang Christmas,” Na Hoa (Na Hoa)

Contemporary Album:  “Reunion,” Amy & Willie K (Island Soul)

Island Music Album:  “Ku‘u ‘Aina Aloha,” Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)

Rock Album:  “Live Duke’s on Sunday 2,” Henry Kapono (Kapono)

Hawaiian Music Album:  “Kawaiokalena,” Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)

Jazz Album: “Good Thing,” Maggie Herron (no label)

Instrumental Album: “Jus’ Cruzin’,” Ledward Kaapana (Jus’ Press)

Alternative Album:  “Kalakaua Avenue,” Streetlight Cadence (Streetlight Cadence)

Christmas Album:  “Endless Christmas,” Ginai (Black Hawaiian)

DSC03408Slack Key Album:  “Ho‘omaluhia,” Kawika Kahiapo (Pono)

Reggae Album:  “Paradise,” Kolohe Kai (RKD)

Religious Album:  “Victorious,” New Hope Oahu (Dream Worship)

R&B Album:  “Waking Up,” Maryanne Ito (InTribal Scribings)

Compilation Album of the Year — awarded to Hawaii resident producer(s):  “Island Style Ukulele 2,” various artists (Neos); Bob and Pati St. John, producers

Graphics — awarded to Hawaii resident designer(s):  Wailani Artates, for “Olanui,” by Sean Robbins (Sean Robbins)

Liner Notes — awarded to Hawaii resident annotator(s):  Neil J. Hannahs, for “E Mau Ke Aloha” by Waipuna (Poki)

Haku Mele — awarded to composer(s) of first-time recorded Hawaiian language song:  “Kawaiokalena,” by Keali‘i Reichel from “Kawaiokalena,” Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)

Hawaiian Language Performance Award: Keali‘i Reichel, “Kawaiokalena” (Punahele)

Engineering Awards — awarded to Hawaii resident engineer(s)

Hawaiian Genre: Michael Grande, Jim Linkner and Shawn Pimental, for “Kawaiokalena,” Keali‘i Reichel (Punahele)

Non-Hawaiian:  Michael Grande, for “They Come and They Go,” Reggie Padilla (Pass Out)

International Album — (non-U.S. artists only):  “Kepani,” Kentaro Tsushima (School Bus)

Ki Ho‘alu Foundation Legacy Award:  Bobby Moderow Jr. of Maunalua

Moe Keale “Aloha Is” Award: Melveen Leed


The Nā Hoku Hanohano Awards culminate a monthlong celebration of Hawaii’s music, but there are still live music events you can attend, including hula and performances on Waikiki beach and live music at Kani Ka Pila Grille in the Outrigger Reef. Visit for more information.