Two of this year’s finest ukulele-centered albums won awards at the 41st annual Na Hoku Hanohano awards. The awards are given by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts and the ceremony was held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, May 19, 2018.
Bryan Tolentino and Herb Ohta Jr. won Ukulele Album of the Year for their second duo album, Ukulele Friends: The Sequel, and the award was given by Roy Sakuma, a local legend in the ukulele community. Ukulele Album of the Year nominees included More Than This, Kris Fuchigami (Kris Fuchigami); My Dog Has Fleas, Arlie-Avery Asiu; A New Journey, Andrew Molina (Shadow Uke Music); Soliloquy, Arden Fujiwara (no label); The Spotless Mind, Neal Chin (Nose Butter Productions); Ukulele Friends: The Sequel, Bryan Tolentino & Herb Ohta, Jr. (Neos Productions)
An assortment of recordings by new and established ukulele artists won this year’s Compilation Album of the Year. Na Mele ‘Ukulele featured tracks by Benny Chong, Honoka and Azita, Herb Ohta Jr., Kalei Gamiao, Shaun Reyes, Bryan Tolentino, and Kawika Kahiapo. Other nominess included Nā Leo Kau‘i Ō Hawai‘i, Various Artists (Neos Productions); A Season of Change, Various Artists (Elation Records).