Tune Into Hawaii

The right Hawaiian music compilation can bring you back to paradise, especially when your spirit needs a lift. Pick up these CDs, which were nominated for best Hawaiian music album at this year’s Grammy Awards, before you head home.

Amy Hanaialii
“Friends and Family”
The tracks on the latest album from Hawaii’s top-selling female vocalist and official Music Ambassador blends a mix of the traditional style of
ha’i (Hawaiian falsetto)—which Hanailii is famous for—and other Hawaiian language songs along with contemporary, jazzy melodies. On “Friends and Family,” Hanaialii shares the spotlight with several of Hawaii’s notable musicians, including Kealii Reichel, Robert Cazimero, John Cruz, Henry Kapono and others, in a variety of upbeat duets. There’s even a surprise duet with country legend Willie Nelson in a remake of “Have I Told You Lately” by Van Morrison. www.mountainapplecompany.com/amy

Hookena
“Nani Mau Loa—Everlasting Beauty”
This musical foursome has been a mainstay of Hawaii’s recording industry for more than 20 years, and their latest CD has been lauded as their best yet. The group is known for their artistic integrity, commitment to native Hawaiian culture, and for consistently producing collections of authentic Hawaiian music. Each member of Hookena has a full-time career outside of the band, and they have made it known to the local media that they make music for the love of it, not for profit. “Nani Mau Loa—Everlasting Beauty” brought them a second Grammy Award nomination, and the album consists of original compositions and traditional songs performed mainly in the Hawaiian language. A reviewer on amazon.com notes: “Hookena doesn’t crank out CDs for the sake of releasing something ... I love this music ... sheer talent!” www.hookena.com

Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho
“He Nani”
Tia Carrere may be known for her roles in Hollywood films and an appearance on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” but she is also an accomplished singer and won the Grammy Award last year for best Hawaiian music album in a collaboration with Daniel Ho. Carrere—who was born and raised on Oahu—and Ho teamed up again for “He Nani,” a beautiful compilation of Hawaiian songs and piano and guitar instrumentals. Carrere’s warm, soothing voice blends well with Ho’s diverse musical talents, and this is a great album to wind down with at the end of the day. www.danielhocreations.com

These CDs are available at Border’s Express at Royal Hawaiian Center, 808.922.4154; ABC Stores, and available for download on iTunes.