Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts 2012 Lifetime Achievement Awards Announced

The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (“HARA”) presents the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Awards (“LTA”) on May 5th, at the Ala Moana Hotel, and is proud to honor the following outstanding individuals and groups (in alphabetical order):

Since the 1960’s, The Aliis, in all forms, remain as legendary royalty in Hawaii’s musical history.  Through the years, members included Rudy Aquino, Benny Chong, Joe Mundo, Manny Lagodlagod, Al Akana, Carlos Barboza, Bobby King, Danny Couch, and L.D. Cabral.

Pua Almeida, hanai son and protégé of prolific composer John Kameaaloha Almeida, was a gifted guitarist, bassist, and steel guitarist, with an exceptional tenor voice.  In Pua’s relatively brief life, he tirelessly performed his beloved Hawaiian music and recorded a musical legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Since imitating his Chinese babysitter’s Hakkah dialect at the age of 5, Frank Delima has kept the people of Hawaii laughing with his kind-spirited ethnic humor.  In 1980, Delima created the Frank De Lima Student Enrichment Program, combining his comedic ability with his Catholic Youth Organization experience to work with children.

Countless successes got their first break in the column inches of Wayne Harada’s Showbiz columns.  The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts gratefully acknowledges the lifetime of contributions to Hawaii’s entertainment community by a man who stood at the center of it all for over four decades

Many of the anthems that we sing in tribute to Maui island’s majestic mountains, verdant valleys, and brilliant beaches were composed by “Aunty Alice Johnson.”  Known as the “Songbird of Maui,” her lilting soprano voice could soar above both combos and choirs, alike, as she shared her own special songs in praise of the Valley Isle of Maui.

The consummate emcee, entertainer, TV and radio personality, and actor, James Halolena Kahoano, Jr. has led a distinguished and unique career that has spanned decades and the globe.  In 1977, Krash Kealoha, Honolulu Skylark, and Kimo Kahoano began the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards as a radio promotion, and 35 years later, the “Hokus” continue to thrive.

A full-blooded native Hawaiian born on Niihau, Wilfred Nalani “Moe” Keale is revered as an integral part of the Hawaiian music renaissance and a key player in the rediscovery of Hawaiian values.  He will be remembered as an entertainer, an actor, and a healer.

The first version of The Lim Family consisted of Elmer Lim, Sr. (dad) on rhythm guitar, Mary Ann Neula Lim (mom) and Nanette (Nani) on ukulele, Elmer, Jr. (Sonny) on guitar, and Charmaine on bass.  When Charmaine left for college, Lorna was recruited at age 13 to step in on bass.  The Lim Family has excelled in every aspect of Hawaiian music and dance, and gained world acclaim, but continue to represent strong Hawaiian family values.

Ihilani Miller, “The Voice of the South Pacific,” is remembered as one of Hawaii’s most cherished “aunties” of Hawaiian music.  The talented dancer, singer and composer performed on the mainland for several years, including appearances on “The Ed  Sullivan Show” and “The Perry Como Show,” and also perfomed in Europe and throughout Hawaii.

Nalani-alua Yvonne Olds has distinguished herself as a singer, dancer, musician, composer, producer, director, actress, recording artist, and lecturer on Hawaiian history and culture.  She has sung with Royal Hawaiian Band, performed at Carnegie Hall, and toured nationally and internationally.

Nicknamed “Lady Fingers,” Betty Loo Taylor’s parents recognized her gift at the age of 3.  Decades and countless accomplishments and recognitions later, she continues to perform regularly in Waikiki on the weekends, and at special engagements.  She has accompanied local and international jazz greats, such as Jimmy Borges, Ethel Azama, Melveen Leed, Azure McCall, Anita O’Day, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, Al Jarreau, and many more.

Its history parallels the history of Hawaii itself, from an independent Monarchy, to a Republic, to an American territory, and finally, to the Fiftieth State of the United States of America.  The history of the band and its bandmasters are the foundation of band music in Hawaii.  Today, under the direction of Clark Bright, the Royal Hawaiian Band continues to be the only full-time municipal band in the United States.

2011 Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jacqueline Leilani “Skylark” Rossetti for her extensive work in promoting Hawaiian Music.




WHEN:     SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2012
10:00 a.m.  Doors Open (Media may check in at “Media Check-In” table)
10:15 a.m.  No-host Cocktail Reception
10:30 a.m.  Performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band, 2012 Industry Award Honoree.
11:15 a.m.  Pule and Lunch
11:45 p.m.  Program Begins

  • 11:45 a.m. –  First five LTA tributes and the Royal Hawaiian Band tribute for the Industry Award.(Order:  Royal Hawaiian Band, Alice Johnson, Ihilani Miller, Nalani Olds, Pua Almeida, and The Lim Family)
  • 12:20 p.m. –  Performance by The Lim Family
  • 12:30 p.m. –  Formal presentation of Hoku LTA Award by HARA President and others.
  • 12:45 p.m. –  Performance by Betty Loo Taylor and Friends
  • 12:55 p.m. –  Second set of six LTA tributes (Order: Betty Loo Taylor, Wayne Harada, Frank Delima, Moe Keale, Kimo Kahoano and The Aliis)
  • 1:25 p.m. –  Performance by The Aliis
  • 1:35 p.m. –  Formal presentation of Hoku LTA Award by HARA President and others.
  • 2:00 p.m. –  Hawaii Aloha

WHERE:    Ala Moana Hotel

HOW:       Tickets are $100 General, $85 Kamaaina, $75 HARA Members

For Na Hoku Hanohano event and ticket information, please:  Go to www.nahokumusicfestival.com or call HARA at (808) 593-9424.  E-mail info@nahokumusicfestival.com

“We hope the public will join us in honoring these truly great individuals and groups that have made a major impact on Hawaii’s music and entertainment industries.  Tickets are available online or by calling or emailing HARA,” said Kuuipo Kumukahi, HARA President.  “We also want to say ‘mahalo’ to Hailama Farden for coordinating this special event, and to Ala Moana Hotel for their support and hospitality.”


Part of the month-long Mele Mei 2012, and sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, Ala Moana Hotel and other partners, this music festival offers the public a unique chance to experience a rich cultural interchange, making the connections between music, our culture, and the spirit of aloha, through interesting and unique workshops, demonstrations, performances and exhibitions, as follows:

DATE                     EVENT                                                 LOCATION
Friday, April 27      Public Opening Event & Media Day     The Willows
Saturday, May 5    Lifetime Achievement Awards            Ala Moana Hotel
Friday, May 25       Workshops, Day 1                                  Hawaii Convention Center
Saturday, May 26   Workshops, Day 2                                  Hawaii Convention Center
Sunday, May 27      Na Hoku Hanohano Awards                  Hawaii Convention Center

Ala Moana Hotel – The Kamaaina Favorite, is the “Official Hotel of the 35th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and Music Festival.”  Renowned for its exceptional island hospitality, Ala Moana Hotel presents guests with a host of impressive amenities and services.  The upscale property offers a collection of diverse in-house dining options, contemporary meeting and banquet facilities, a relaxing lounge and energetic nightclub, as well as an expansive pool deck, sauna and fitness center.   Centrally located, Ala Moana Hotel is nearby famous Waikiki Beach, adjacent to Ala Moana Center, the largest open-air mall in America, across from the Hawaii Convention Center and a short stroll to picturesque Ala Moana Beach Park.

For more information on Ala Moana Hotel, please visit www.alamoanahotel.com.  Festival participants must call (808) 955-4811 to get the special Na Hoku Hanohano rates – just ask for the “Hokus” rates.  These rates will be honored May 23-30, 2012, only.

Started in May 2011, Mele Mei is a month-long celebration of the unique music of Hawaii.  It encompasses workshops, concerts, award ceremonies, and even a Guinness World Record attempt, and culminates with the Na Hoku Hanohano Music Festival and 35th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.  The 2012 Mele Mei events will be held throughout Waikiki at various hotels, on the beach, at restaurants, the Hawaii Convention Center, and other venues.  For more information, please visit www.melemei.com.

Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon Pictures

I had the opportunity to attend the Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon when I went to the Na Hoku Festival this past weekend and was overwhelmed by the amount of talent that was in the room.

It was a true chicken skin moment.

The 2010 Honorees were:

  • Ida Keli’i Chun
  • Isaacs ‘Ohana (Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs Sr.;  sons Alvin Kaleolani Jr. (Barney), Norman K. Isaacs, and Leland Isaacs;  all deceased)
  • George Ka’inapau (deceased)
  • Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau
  • Boyce Rodrigues

I took so many pictures… I’m not going to try and caption any of them.  If you have any questions on who someone might be… feel free to ask.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge.