Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm made history in 2006 as Hawai‘i’s first solo female vocalist ever to receive a Grammy Nomination for her sophomore CD “Sweet and Lovely.”
At 21 years old, she was one of the youngest performers to attend the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California. It was a remarkable achievement when you consider that she comes from the tiny island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i, a mere wisp of volcanic land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The Arts and Leisure Desk of The New York Times (February 5, 2006) featured a list of Grammy Nominated artists who had produced stunning work but who were likely to be over looked as celebrity public relations machines pushed the glitz of industry icons. The NYT wrote of Raiatea Helm, “[She] sings in the high-voiced throwback leo ki‘eki‘e style without a hint of kitsch. Her second album, “Sweet and Lovely” is poised and utterly elegant.”
Raiatea Helm’s recent appearance onto the national music scene with her Grammy Nomination was a natural progression of her growth within the Hawaiian music community. Her debut recording, “Far Away Heaven,” captured the prestigious Female Vocalist of the Year and Most Promising Artist Awards from the 2003 Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Artists (HARA). Raiatea Helm continued her award-winning tradition two years later with the release of her second CD “Sweet and Lovely.” (Raiatea Helm Records). At the 2005 HARA Awards ceremony, she was recognized again as Female Vocalist of the Year and also received the coveted Favorite Entertainer of the Year Award. With the additional acknowledgement for technical merit in Engineering (Dave Tucciarone) and Graphic Design (Mele McPherson), she now claims six Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Few performers of any age can match that achievement.Raiatea Helm has also proven herself to be as versatile as she is talented. Her rendition of the jazz classic “At Last” on “Sweet and Lovely” caused a buzz among many of the Hawaiian music industry’s singers, musicians, and producers. Her jazz vocalization was so exceptional that Matt Catingub, the Grammy Award Winner for his saxophone performance on the sound track for “Good Night and Good Luck,” asked her to participate on his upcoming project. Thus, in 2007, Raiatea recorded the wonderful jazz standard “My Romance” with the Matt Catingub Orchestra of Honolulu and received rave reviews. On her recently released her 3rd CD “Hawaiian Blossom,” Raiatea Helm includes the dreamy jazz ballad “Taking a Chance on Love.” There seems little doubt that a jazz CD is in her future, and perhaps, the unprecedented feat of a single female artist receiving Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in both the Hawaiian and Jazz music categories.
Raiatea Helm’s virtuoso recordings and performances have already launched her onto the international music scene with extensive concert appearances throughout Japan and Asia. Domestically, she has appeared at venues stretching from New York City to San Francisco. Her appeal continues to flourish across all age groups and reaches across geographical boundaries as she collaborates with legends of Hawaiian music: The Brothers Cazimero, The Makaha Sons, Keali‘i Reichel, Ho‘okena, Auntie Genoa Keawe, and Ledward Ka‘apana. As with Raiatea Helm’s career, the list continues to grow with no end in sight.
With her performing and recording career now entering her seventh year, Raiatea has firmly established her reputation as Hawai‘i’s premier chanteuse. At 26 years old, it is undeniable that Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm will be a part of the national as well as international music scene for many years to come.
Known as Hawaii's Renaissance Man, George Kahumoku Jr, is a multiple Grammy & Hoku Award winning master Slack Key Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, performer, teacher, artist and sculptor, story-teller and writer, farmer and entrepreneur. George is known for playing slack key on a jumbo12-string guitar because he loves the full sound and the lower bass tones. He uses a custom Art Davis guitar, and since beginning the Slack Key Show seven years ago, has changed his favorite tuning from E flat to F to make it easier to play with others.
In October 2003, George co-created the first venue ever dedicated to presenting Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. First located at the Ritz Carlton-Kapalua, then moving to Maui's Napili Kai Beach Resort where it is now. The first show CD, produced from live recordings of the show, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 1: Live in Concert from Maui won the 48th Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Album. The 4 of the 5 sequels to this recording were all nominated, 3 of them winning Grammies.
A renowned story-teller on and off the stage, George collaborated with long-time friend, Paul Konwiser, to write down his entertaining semi-autobiographical short stories into his first book of short stories: A Hawaiian Life. George lives on Maui, directing and teaching at the new Institute of Hawaiian Music at the University of Hawaii-Maui College. George spends his free time maintaining his small 3 acre farm growing fruit and vegetables, dry-land taro (for his famous home-made poi) and tending his goats, chickens, ducks, and miniature horses. True to his Hawaiian heritage, wherever he goes, George always brings bundles of fresh produce to share with friends and students.
Every summer in June, George Kahumoku Jr.'s Annual Maui Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele Workshop takes place featuring the finest music instructors. This workshop is one of the great musical experiences in the Islands today, and the result of George's belief in sharing, celebrating and perpetuating Hawaiian culture and music.
Peter was born and raised on the island of Maui. He began playing ukulele at the age of 6. Later he studied ukulele with Keoki Kahumoku and Herb Ohta Jr. Other important influences include all the masters of Hawaiian Slack Key guitar with whom he has played regularly for the last 8 years, including Ledward Kaapana and others, also Bradda IZ & Bob Marley. Peter now plays professionally around Maui both solo and in groups: Dukes-Kaanapali (Three Pounds of Poi), Kimo's-Lahaina (deAquino Braddaz), The Hula Grill (leading the band TBA), and the Hard Rock Café (Sounds of Addiction). Peter is featured on all four of the Slack Key Show’s Grammy winning compilation CDs: Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.1, Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.2, and also on the Grammy nominated Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Peter is featured in a new DVD: The Best of the Slack Key Show, Vol. 1
Born and raised on Maui, Sterling showed an early talent for the guitar. At Lahainluna High School, Sterling would practice in between classes and to jam with Uncle George Kahumoku (who was the ceramics teacher) at lunch time. After attending Uncle George's Annual Summer Workshop in Napili and studying with the slack key masters, Sterling took a particular interest in Slack Key C Tuning. Sterling is the Slack Key Show sound engineer as well as a performer, and also works as a light & sound technician at the Ulalena show in Lahaina. Sterling is featured on the Slack Key Show’s Grammy award winning CDs, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.2, and Grammy nominated Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Sterling is featured in a new DVD: The Best of the Slack Key Show, Vol. 1.
Telling the story with graceful movement and hula hands, Wainani has loved dancing all her life. Born in Honolulu, she relocated and danced for many years on the Big Island where she joined the hula school, Halau Na Lei O Ka Holoku, led by Kumu Hula Nani Lim Yap and Leialoha Amina.
Wainani traveled nationally and internationally with Lim’s Halau sharing hula with the world while developing her considerable talent in dance, chanting, and Hawaiian culture.
Wainani now lives on Maui and, in addition to regularly dancing for Slack Key Master, Ledward Kaapana, she has danced for many years at the Royal Lahaina Resort as a soloist and as an Oli Mea (chanter) for Maui Nei Cultural Walking Tour. She was one of the principal dancer for George Kahumoku’s Hawaiian Country Music Show in Branson, Missouri in 2012 and has now become a regular dancer at George Kahumoku Jr’s Slack Key Show.
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