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28th Annual Ka Himeni 'Ana Hawaiian Music Competition Annouces
2012 Winners

HONOLULU, HI (August 28, 2012) – The Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame’s 28th Annual Ka Hïmeni ‘Ana Hawaiian music competition took place Saturday, August 25 at the historic Hawaii Theatre.

Ka Hïmeni ‘Ana, founded by Richard M. Towill, features Hawaiian music groups competing in the “nahenahe” style, the distinctive Hawaiian music form that features sweet vocal harmony supported by unamplified acoustic instruments. Contestants are judged on the quality of their vocal harmony, use of Hawaiian language, song choice and overall musicianship.

The winning group, Kuini, impressed the judges with their versatility and skill and received a $1,200 cash prize and four round trip tickets, courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines, to a Mainland destination of their choice. Second and third place contestants Kaulele and KomaKaKino received $800 and $600 cash prizes, respectively, with the other contestants receiving a consolation prize of $200.

“Kuini caught everybody’s attention. The projection of their singing was exceptional… they scored high because their appearance, stage presence and projection of sound was solid, and their choice of songs was moving,” said Aaron Mahi, one of the Ka Himeni Ana judges. “And if there was a popular vote, Kuini would have taken it hands down.”

The winners:

1st place: Kuini
Kuini, comprised of Iwalani "Ho'o" Apo (ukulele), Keli Mahealani Viernes (upright bass) and Kapulanakehau Tamure (guitar), was formed by accident. When asked their name at a party they played at, the word “kuini” (queen) came up, since all the band members are transgendered. And that name has stuck ever since. Through Hawaiian music, the trio keeps their kupuna’s memories of old names, historic events and romantic drama alive.

2nd place: Kaulele
Kaulele (it means “to soar; to accent in music”) formed to play music at Ka Hïmeni ‘Ana, but have all played for many years in their individual careers. Ka'imi Keohokalole (upright bass), Hiram Olsen (guitar) and Casey Olsen (steel guitar) are united in their love for Hawaiian music.

3rd place: KomaKaKino
Their name means "The body has eyes," and references each member of the Hilo-based group: Kyle Reid Koma Wana (guitar), Michael-John Kekeikiinamakaho‘olili DeMello (ukulele / bass) and Kinohi Pukaua o Kamehameha Neves (ukulele /bass). The members are all hula dancers, raised together, who love to sing, dance and haku mele.

View photos of Ka Himeni 'Ana 2012 by Phil Spaulding...

For more information, please visit www.kahimeniana.com, visit on Facebook at facebook.com/KaHimeniAna or follow us on Twitter at @KaHimeniAna.

About the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame:
The mission of the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame is to promote, preserve, and perpetuate Hawaiian music and hula by celebrating the achievements of significant individuals and groups.  

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