The winners of Hawaii’s prestigious Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards were announced in a lavish ceremony May 25. Some big names in the ukulele world walked away with awards from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, which hosts the event at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.
Ukulele master Herb Ohta Jr. was among the winners with a nod to his recent album Ukulele Hula winning for instrumental album of the year. Kris Fuchigami won for instrumental composition of the year for his song “Life Is.” And, the dynamic Taimane won for performer of the year.
Perhaps the most interesting win went to Papa Ray who took home a win for contemporary acoustic album of the year. Papa Ray turns out to be something of a late bloomer—he recorded his album of originals and covers at the age of 78!
INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: ‘Ukulele Hula, Herb Ohta Jr. (Neos Productions)
INSTRUMENTAL COMPOSITION (Composer’s Award): “Life Is,” Kris Fuchigami from Life Is (no label)
CONTEMPORARY ACOUSTIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Ukulele Sunshine, Papa Ray (no label)
FAVORITE ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR: Taimane