Three of Hawaii’s up and coming musicians perform for Grammy Association’s top members
posted: 5/30/2005 -
Seattle, WA— Three of Hawaii’s own up and coming musicians took part in a historical performance for the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) on Tuesday, May 24th at the The Fairmont Kea Lani Resort Hotel, Maui. In an event co- sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of NARAS (which includes Hawaii) and the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) Arts, Film, and Entertainment Division, Makana, Raiatea Helm and Jake Shimabukuro delighted the audience with their outstanding performances in an effort to assure that top industry leaders understand the depth and breadth of the musical talent in Hawaii. The musicians were supported during the event by guitarist, Zachery Helm and bassist, Patricia Kuwaye.
“The three of them wowed the leadership of the Grammy organization and energized them about the future of Hawaiian music,” said Ben London, Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of NARAS.
The extremely successful event was produced by Seattle-based entertainment company, WorldSound, and provided Hawaiian musicians with valuable face-time with the music industry’s most active professionals. Also in attendance, was Grammy award-winning Slack-Key artist and producer Charles Michael Brotman.
“It was very heartening to see the expressions of delight and amazement from top industry producers and musicians, who are members of NARAS. They were surprised at the level of talent and it appeared to redouble their enthusiasm for Hawaii’s new Grammy category,” said Judy Drosd, Director of DBEDT’s Arts, Film and Entertainment Division.
Born and raised in Hawai'i , 26 year-old guitar phenomenon, Makana, was taught by the Masters of the art form of Ki Ho'alu or "slack key", the indigenous Hawaiian style of guitar that pre-dates the blues. He has already performed for over 18 years and has opened for Sting, Santana, No Doubt, Jack Johnson, and shared the stage with Andreas Vollenweider, Bruddah Iz, Keali’i Reichel, Clay Walker, Jason Mraz and Raul Midon. He recently performed at the WOMAD Festival in Reading, England as well as headlined at Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle.
Raiatea Helm has performed to thousands of awestruck Hawaiian music fans in Hawai'i as well as throughout the mainland and Japan. Touring extensively with the Makaha Sons and Ho'okena, Raiatea has had the opportunity to
perform with seasoned Hawaiian musicians as well as perform for their loyal following who have embraced her musical style. She has won two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawaii’s Grammy) and a Hawai'i Music Award.
Known for lightning fast fingers and revolutionary playing techniques, Jake Shimabukuro is a master of the ukulele. Three Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and four Hawaii Music Awards for his solo albums firmly cement Jake’s status as one of Hawaii’s greatest musicians. While Jake has great respect and love for traditional Hawaiian ukulele music, his mission is to show everyone that the ukulele is capable of so much more.
“This concert, even though brief, paved the way for a higher level of appreciation in the music industry for Hawaiian music. All three musicians made us very proud,” says Drosd.