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Posts Tagged ‘Na Hoku Hanohano’

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

Aloha kākou!

I always have my iPod with me. It’s my personal jukebox.

Living in New York City, I spend a lot of time traveling underground via subway–and those rides can be long and boring! But having a collection of great music with me at all times keeps me from losing my mind. I can escape to a tropical isle with the push of a button. Portable paradise!

Here are the TOP 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Manowaiopuna (The Royal Hawaiian Serenaders’ recording on the album Legends Of Waikiki)

I love a great vintage recording of a great Hawaiian song, don’t you?

And the Royal Hawaiian Serenaders’ recording of this song, also known as KOʻULA, is one of my favorites.  Their arrangement is simple–nothing flashy or showy (other than the stellar falsetto!) which really allows the beauty of this classic song to shine through.

Triple love it.  True story.

*Please click HERE to read a great bio via the amazing Territorial Airwaves website.

2. Kuʻu Pua Pakalana (Natalie Ai Kamauu’s recording on the album ʻĀ)

For the second week in a row, this song is my obsession.  Still listening to it over and over.  Still singing it when I wake up in the morning.  What do they call that?  An “earworm” right?

(I’m so happy that I still love it and that it’s not driving me crazy by now!)

It’s contemporary and timeless at the same time.

According to the album’s liner notes, she says she wrote it to honor her son, Chaz.

It brings tears to my eyes and warms my heart.

*Please click HERE to visit Natalie’s website.

(** Crooner Note: Congrats to Natalie for her Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award this year: Female Vocalist of the Year!)

3. Nā Vaqueros (Kuana Torres Kahale’s recording on the album Kaunaloa)

I was on the treadmill this week and this song started to play.  I actually stopped the treadmill to look to see who was singing.  I had been zoning out (one of the benefits/hazards of running on a treadmill) and I heard the Spanish lyrics and was confused for a minute… I thought I’d been listening to Kuana Torres Kahele.  Then I recognized the song and had to laugh!

I love it for so many reasons: it’s beautiful, for sure.  It has a strangely familiar feel to it–I hear a lot of Spanish music living in NYC.  So it’s familiar that way.  And yet it also has a traditional hula feel to it, too!  How cool is that?!

*Please click HERE to visit Kuana’s website.

(**Crooner Note: This whole album rocks my world.  And it rocked the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards this year, too!  A giant CONGRATS to Kuana for all of the recognition he received for this outstanding album: Album of the Year, Hawaiian Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year (Nā Vaqueros) and Liner Notes!  Fantastic!)

4. Over (Keahiwai’s recording on the album Local Girls)

I was feeling homesick for my friends/family on Oʻahu this week.  And this song, recorded by the fantastic duo known as Keahiwai, always takes me back.

It’s totally contemporary–well, it was released in 2001, but that’s contemporary in my world.  A mild “Jawaiian” feel to it.  It makes me want to head out to the North Shore and watch some surfing and catch some time in the sun and sand.  I love how it makes me feel.

It takes me back to happy times, for sure!

5. Waimaka Helelei (Dennis Kamakahi & Stephen Inglis’ recording on the album Waimaka Helelei)

You guys know how much I love Uncle Dennis Kamakahi!  And this song (& album!) that he recorded with Stephen Inglis is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

I think this song will enter into the classic/staple Hawaiian song category very soon.  So simple–yes.  Verses are only 2 lines long.  But so deep!  It pays tribute to the folks that lived at Kalaupapa–the colony for those affected by leprosy (Hansen’s Disease)–located on the island of Molokai.

We’ve needed a song like this for so long.  And finally, it’s here.  A giant MAHALO to Uncle Dennis for writing it.  And to Stephen for sharing his musical gifts.  Individually, they are fantastic musicians.  As a duo, these guys are incredible.

*At the time of this writing, Uncle Dennis shares this song AND the lyrics on his website.  Just click HERE to visit the site and listen to this song!

*Please click HERE to visit Stephen Inglis’ website.

(**Crooner Note:  CONGRATS to Uncle Dennis and Stephen for their Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for this album: Slack Key Album of the Year!  Right on!)

What are YOU listening to?  Drop me a line and let me know!

And, as always, a giant MAHALO to Puna and the gang at for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

**Wanna be the first to know when Crooner News/Updates are posted?  You can subscribe by clicking HERE!**


Aloha kākou!

Here’s this week’s question:

What is the name of the Grammy® Award winner (and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner!) who released the awesome album MAUI ON MY MIND in 2009?

A.  Jeff Peterson

B.  George Kahumoku, Jr.

C.  Keola Beamer

D.  Ledward Kaapana

• Please submit your answer by posting a reply to this entry on the blog.
• All correct answers will be eligible to win a special email message from me.
• One winner will be randomly chosen at 11:59pm HST.

Will YOU be this week’s lucky winner?

Good Luck!

Aloha Poʻalima! Happy Aloha Friday!

**Crooner Update:

The answer to this week’s question is A.  JEFF PETERSON!

MAUI ON MIND has become a favorite album in my collection.  I turn to it when I want to unwind.  And I’ve found it to be great music to listen to when I’m cooking in the kitchen.  It infuses the room (and probably the food, too!) with joy…  Please click HERE to check it out!

And this week’s winner, chosen randomly from all of the correct answers, is… (Drum roll, please…) CAROL!  Congrats, Carol!  You’re this week’s Trivia Superstar!

Mahalo to all of you for playing along this week.

Happy Weekend!

A hui hou…



Sharing Germs and Learning Tunes

Monday, November 21, 2011

This weekend, I realized that the kids I’ve been working with at an elementary school here in NYC have shared so much with me.  Not only their hearts and their music–but also their GERMS!


On Friday night, about 24 hours after my session had ended with the kids the day before, I noticed that I wasn’t feeling well.  My body ached and I had small-kine chills.  But as soon as I realized it had probably come from hanging out with the kids the day before, I couldn’t help but laugh.  They really DO share everything.

I’m happy to repot that I’m “on the mend.”  The worst seems to be over and I look forward to feeling better–and fully recovered!–by Thanksgiving.

In other news:

Earlier today, I sat down to start working on a song that has won my heart this week, PUA ʻAʻALIʻI.

This Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winning song (composed by Lee Ann ʻĀnuenue Pūnua) totally blew me away the first time I heard it.  (Please click HERE to read an article about that awards ceremony.)  It was a few years ago, so the circumstances of where I heard it are lost somewhere in my memory banks.  I do remember loving it.  (**Note:  I have started to carry index cards with me because I am constantly making “mental notes” about music that I hear, but those “mental notes” don’t always stay with me for very long…)

On Friday night, I was listening to Kawika Alfiche’s CD, Kaleʻa, and the song came on.  Ah! I recognized it immediately!  I stopped what I was doing so that I could peek at the song’s title.  I might have even said aloud, “This is a song I should learn.”

And then at a party on Saturday night, I heard the song, AGAIN!

So I sat down and started looking at the song this morning.  And you know what?  I triple love it.

I love its simple structure–no need for a complicated melody, vocal acrobatics or a complicated structure when you’ve got a song that expresses so much beauty in four short verses.  Each verses has only two lines!  A real testament to Ānuenue Pūnua and her compositional skills.  I tip my hat to you, for sure!

The song is haunting.  It stays with me.  I find myself humming it while I work.  (In fact, I’ve been humming it the whole time I’ve been writing this blog post!)

And I look forward to “going deep” while I study it–chewing slowly and carefully and really allowing it to sink into my bones.

I love a song like that, don’t you?

Happy Monday, gang!  How was YOUR weekend?  Drop me a line and let me know…


Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (2011)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Last night in Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts presented their annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards.

Not familiar with them?  Think “Hawaiian-style Grammy® Awards.”

A lot of fantastically talented folks were nominated.  And a lot of fantastically talented folks won well-deserved awards.

But you know what?

Nominees and winners, I celebrate each and every one of ʻem.

They’re ALL my heroes.  Their music is the reason I get out of bed in the morning.  They are all working hard to ensure that Hawaiian music continues to flourish.

I remember watching an interview that featured legendary Hawaiian musician (and the grande dame of hula music), Aunty Genoa Keawe.  Someone asked her about Hawaiian music—whether it was a dying art form.  In essence, her response was “As long as I’m alive, Hawaiian music will be alive.”  I’m so thankful for folks like her who’ve dedicated their lives—at least in part—to perpetuating this beautiful music.

Congrats to all of the folks who have contributed to the Hawaiian music scene-both past and present.

I celebrate all of you today.  Mahalo for doing what you do!

Right on!