Hawaii's Grammy Nominees Perform In Concert

Alice Maekawa
Alice Maekawa

By Beth Hillyer

(KHNL) - Music fans got a sneak peek at the Grammy-nominated line-up for Best Hawaiian Music Album at a free concert Friday night.

The best of Hawaii's slack key music artists played live at the Hawaii State Art Museum.

The audience was full of energy and local pride as the Grammy-nominated bands took the stage.

The intricate style of slack key guitar is highlighted at the 2nd annual Grammy Awards concert.

Legends like Ledward Kaapana have brought the art of his ancestors to the mainstream.

"We knew some of the performers namely Ledward Kaapana who we are real strong backers of we love his music," said fan Alice Maekawa.

In fact, fans are emerging all over the world.

Boris Hatt's visiting from Russia.

"Just because I like slack key, know where it is," said Hatt.

Legendary slack key artists combined their talents and collaborated on some of the Grammy-nominated albums, keeping with the aloha spirit of their heritage.

"So the men folk entertained and somebody had to sing the high parts and I do that now. I can focus my voice from bass to soprano, every which way," said Richard Hoopii Sr.

For two years in a row, slack key artists have taken home the Grammy.

This year two of the five Hawaiian albums do not focus on slack key music.

And there is one woman in the running this year.

"I think Hawaiian music is all about education," said Nominee Amy Hanaialii Gilliom.  "Certain people on mainland have an idea what they think Hawaiian music is. Ususally we come in concert with the uncles, Richard Hoopii or Uncle Leonard Kalapana and they really hear Hawaiian music, then they are just blown away."