Hawaiian Music Submissions to the Grammy Awards for 2011

In a sweeping restructuring of categories announced back in April 2011, The Recording Academy will no longer recognize Hawaiian music with its own category. Rather, Hawaiian music is incorporated into a new and broader category named “Best Regional Roots Music” within the “American Roots Music Field.”

The call for submission of eligible products is issued mid-summer, and all recordings whose eligibility is verified by The Recording Academy go onto a Preliminary Ballot. The top 5 vote-getters within each category are designated “GRAMMY Nominees.” A second voting period takes place, out of which the winners are announced at the February awards program.

The results of the preliminary voting will be announced this week. For those curious, there were 55 albums in the “Best Regional Roots Music” category. The following 13 were the Hawaiian music albums included on the preliminary ballot:

  1. Ahumanu, No Ku‘uipo
  2. Kawika Alfiche, Kale‘a
  3. Robert Cazimero, Hula
  4. Hi‘ikua, Aia i Hi‘ialo
  5. Kuana Torres Kahele, Kaunaloa 
  6. George Kahumoku, Jr., Wao Akua — The Forest of the Gods
  7. John Keawe, Play With Me Papa
  8. Mailani, ‘Aina”   [e kala mai the absence of kahakō over the capital “A”]
  9. Kenneth Makuakane, Kawaipono
  10. Doug & Sandy McMaster, In My Heart
  11. Various Artists, A Tribute to Nā Lani ‘Ehā
  12. Various Artists, Nā Haku Mele o Hawai‘i 
  13. Various Artists, Wahine

Collectively this is a strong set of products. There is a mixture here of CDs that focus on new versions of old songs, as well as CDs that introduce newly-written material. Three CDs have prominent kī hō‘alu slack key content. All vocal CDs contain predominantly Hawaiian-language songs. Happily the 13 submissions span four islands–Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui and O‘ahu–as well as San Francsisco. E ō!

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One Response to Hawaiian Music Submissions to the Grammy Awards for 2011

  1. Kay Fitzgerald says:

    No one can pick from this catagory unless they understand the Hawai’ian language (‘olelo ). The Grammy committee did this because of the backlash of last years award to an CD that was so
    obviously not of Hawai’ian background. So how can anyone compare Hawai’ian catagory song with (for example) Bluegrass ! Too bad , but the Hoku Hanohano Awards showed them up as people who do not know Hawai’ian music is distinct and different enough to give it it’s own catagory.

    Let’s see what the ultimate nominees are !
    Mahalo Kaleolani F.

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