By Wayne Harada
What happens after the hoopla and the Na Hoku Hanohano Award trophy goes home with the winner?
With this year’s awards night coming up Sunday, I asked past recipients how their disc-shaped trophies have fit into and shaped their lives.
Some stash the award in a place of honor, as expected, but one winner gives away his Na Hoku to a deserving friend; another has gifted an award to a fan abroad.
The trophies still inspire, apparently.
One multi-winner has his trophies in public storage, however (they do take a lot of space on a mantle or in a trophy case). And a few have had to mend deteriorating (deficient?) awards when the nameplate dropped off. Glue gun, anyone?
The memories they share:
Robert Cazimero, of The Brothers Cazimero; has won more than a dozen, but has only two left.
Quote: “I’ve always given them away, to Jon (de Mello, his manager), to people in the office who worked so hard for us, to a friend who devoted years of his service to the Life Foundation, to a best pal I loved dearly who took the time to love me back, to a friend’s mom who always cooked and fed me. There are so many others who deserve a Hoku; I only need one; I would be honored to give it to you, Wayne.”
Note to Robert: Mahalo plenty. Appreciate the thought; but I have two Hokus in an obscure shelf in my living room, amid apples (wood, marble, glass, papier mache) I collect here and during travels.
Glenn Medeiros; has two.
Quote: “I’ve always proudly placed them in a space next to some of the old gold records I’ve collected over the years (most associated with his “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You” national hit). People usually look at the gold records and then glance at the Hokus asking, ‘What are those things?’ People from Hawai’i are blown away; when it’s visitors, I usually explain ‘Hawai’i’s version of the Grammys.’ Two Hokus are more than I thought I would ever have; it’s an honor to receive them.”
Jake Shimabukuro; has 12.
Quote: “My Na Hoku Hanohano Awards are a bit scattered at the moment; most of them are at my mom’s house; I have four in my office, one at my grandma’s on Moloka’I; and one at my dad’s. (Still another is at his manager’s). I’ll never forget the very first one I received with the band Pure Heart. That was a very emotional evening for me and my family. (He shed tears).”
Amy Hanaiali’i; has 15.
Quote: “My most touching story was having my Grandmother Jennie (Napua Hanaiali’I Woodd) there, the first year I won. At the Hoku Awards, there was a fight that broke out in the back room. I took tutu to the bathroom; on the way back, she walked right in the middle of the fight. She said ‘beep, beep.’ It was classic. My Hoku are in a glass cabinet high away from (daughter) Madeline; you know, she thinks she is Beyonce now. LOL.”
Horace Dudoit III, of Ho’okena; has five or six.
Quote: “Four of the Hokus are in a glass showcase in my living room, along with my two Grammy nominee medals; the other one or two Hokus is at my dad’s home. The four are dedicated to my three sons and my wife because they are the ones that have had to put up with me not being there (at home) at times when we were in long recording sessions or traveling; they’ve given me support. One of my Hokus came off the wood base, so I Krazy Glued that buggah back on.”
Harry B. Soria, Jr.; has eight.
Quote: “I keep the Hokus on a shelf within the ‘Territorial Airwaves’ library and archives collection. Being recognized by your respected peers for excelling in your chosen life’s passion is pure joy. I sent one Hoku as a gift to my executive producer, Michael Cord; it was the George Jarrett Helm liner notes Hoku; I felt Michael had done so much for the perpetutation of Hawaiian music hat he needed to have (one) as inspiration. He worked so hard to make the Helm project pono for the Helm family.”
Frank DeLima; has 12.
Quote: “They’re temporarily in public storage; they were displayed at my (former) office at (former manager) Millie Fujinaga’s house, but she moved to a condo, so I plan to show off the awards at my concerts (like my Christmas show Dec. 10 and Mothers Day shows May 8 at the Pagoda) this coming year when I celebrate by 35th anniversary. The nameplates fell off a couple, but I glued them back.”
Jim Linkner; has 15.
Quote: “All were for engineering, producing. My wife Debra built me two shelves high on the wall above my desk. Most interesting story? Rap (Reiplinger) used to hang out at my house when I lived up on Tantalus; one night, we were drinking champagne a couple of nights after the Hokus, celebrating; he came out of my kitchen — with sashimi served on the back of a Hoku award.”
Daniel Ho; has two (plus beaucoup Grammys and Hawaii Music Awards).
Quote: “George Kahumoku Jr. and I won Hokus for ‘Hymns of Hawaii’ and ‘Hymns of Hawaii, Vol. 2. Lehua Kalima Heine and I co-wrote a song called ‘Saving Forever,’ one of many we were writing for a musical about Kalaupapa; it won Song of the Year, but I didn’t get a Hoku and Lehua was kind enough to give me hers. We underwent two months of home repair last year, put everything in boxes and shuffled them from room to room. It’s been six months and we haven’t had time to unpack. (If) we have house guests, we’ll be forced to clean the house.”
Uluwehi Guerrero; has one.
Quote: “It sits on the piano in my living room in Makawao, next to a photograph of me and my grandmother. I received the trophy (in 2001) from fellow Maui singer Amy Hanaiali’i; when she handed it to me, it slipped and fell and actually rolled on stage and did a 360 degree and returned to me at my feet. Then when I got home, I noticed it had no nameplate on it with my name ... must’ve fallen off when it dropped. I received the nameplate in the mail two years later. I always thought the award was made from glass; now I know it’s acrylic, haha! It sits very proudly in mint condition...a symbol of hard work, love and passion.”
Bobby Moderow Jr., of Maunalua; has four.
Quote: “The Hokus are on a shelf in my home office, where they are a constant reminder of the work that Maunalua has accomplished ... and serve as a tribute to those who have come before us and have laid the foundation for our music.The Hoku symbolizes excellence in our craft and fuels our passion to keep Hawaiian music alive.”
Pali Ka’aihue, of Pali; has four.
Quote: “They’re on a shelf, with some other memorabilia, but not too ‘in your face’ but with much respect. During the CD party for our ‘With Aloha’ album, I met a teen, Kenji, who came over from Japan with the Japanese affiliate of the Make a Wish Foundation. It was his wish to go to Hawai’i with his family; it was his birthday; the 200-plus people there wished him a very happy birthday. Whenever we’d perform in Japan after that, he and his family would come; only his parents, when he was too ill, so he’d send letters. I heard he wasn’t doing too well (last year) so the band and I signed the bottom of my Hoku and I sent it to him. Last July, he was very frail, but so happy to see me and the band; he was speechless about our Hoku gift. He passed away a month later and I’m forever grateful for his friendship.”
If you're a previous Hoku winner with a what-happened-to-my-trophy story, share it here.
NA HOKU HANOHANO AWARDS
Arrivals from 6:30 p.m. Sunday on KFVE Your Home
Awards ceremony from 7:30 p.m. Sunday on KGMB9
Hawaii Convention Center
Also: After show party, 10 p.m.-midnight Sunday; $60
NA HOKU PICKS
Male Vocalist of the Year
Uluwehi Guerrero, “Uluwehi Sings Nä Mele Hula Aloha” (Kaulupono)
Female Vocalist of the Year
Amy Hanaiali’i, “Friends and Family of Hawai`i” (Ua)
Group of the Year
Ho’okena, “Nani Mau Loa (Everlasting Beauty)” (Ho`omau)
Hawaiian Album of the Year
“Uluwehi Sings Na Mele Hula Aloha,” Uluwehi Guerrero (Kaulupono)
Instrumental Album of the Year
“Live,” Jake Shimabukuro (Hitchhike)
Contemporary Album of the Year
“South of the Boudoir,” Don Tiki (Taboo)
Island Music Album of the Year
“E Ku’uipo E Hula Mai Me A’u,” Ku`uipo Kumukahi (Ward)
Song of the Year
“Ka Ni`o O Maleka `Ailana,” by Manu Boyd and Horace Dudoit III, from “Nani Mau Loa —Everlasting Beauty,” Ho`okena (Ho`omau)
Album of the Year
“Uluwehi Sings Na Mele Hua Aloha,” Uluwehi Guerrero (Kaulupono), Uluwehi Guerrero and Pono Fried, producers