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Hawaiian Music Makes Its Grammy Debut

The varied backgrounds of the members of Ho'okena range from making instruments to the postal service.
The varied backgrounds of the members of Ho'okena range from making instruments to the postal service.

When the winners are announced at Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony, the list will include the category of best Hawaiian music, for the first time in the 47 years that the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has given the awards.

The addition comes after years of urging from musicians, record labels and fans of Hawaiian music. As part of the wider category of folk music, the nominees for best Hawaiian album include both vocal and instrumental recordings.

The music chosen shows some of the range of Hawaiian music today, from traditional songs for guitar and ukulele to more modernized approaches. But one stipulation remains: that most of the singing be done in the Hawaiian language.

The five albums nominated:


Some Call It Aloha... Don't Tell -- The Brothers Cazimero

Amy & Willie Live -- Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom and Willie K.

Cool Elevation -- Ho'okena

Ke'alaokamaile --
Keali'i Reichel

Slack Key Guitar, Volume 2 -- (compilation; produced by Charles Michael Brotman)

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Wilma Consul