The 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and the Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) presented the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards today at the Hawaii Convention Center.

2011 HARA & Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards

Musicians and family members began filling up the Hawaii Convention Center ballroom around 10:30 this morning.

Around 11:00 the President of HARA, Ku’uipo Kumukahi, welcomed the musicians and family members to the ceremony.

Kumukahi introduced the Mistress of the Ceremony Karen Keawehawai’i to the audience.

An opening Pule (Hawaiian for prayer) was said by the former HARA President.

Lunch consisted of beef brisket, chicken, steamed vegetables and rice with furikake.

After lunch was served the awards program and entertainment began by having Mihana Aluli Souza present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Bill “Tappy” Tapia who wasn’t present, but did send in a video of a recent show that he did on the Mainland.

Uncle Bill “Tappy” Tapia (born January 1, 1908) is an American musician, born in Honolulu, Hawaii, of Portuguese parents. At age 10, Tapia was already a professional musician, playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” for World War I troops in Hawaii.

In his long career beginning in Vaudeville and quickly expanding as a jazz guitarist and ukulele player he has performed with names such as Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley and Hawaiian musicians such as King Bennie Nawahi, Sol Ho‘opi’i, and Andy Iona.

The next lifetime achievement award was presented by President Kumukahi to Harriet Daisy Kawai’ala Ka’oionapuaopi’ilani Stevens-Poire.

Napua Stevens Poire (born Harriet Daisy Kawaiala Kao’ionapuapi’ilani Stevens, August 31, 1918 – January 7, 1990) was a well-known Hawaiian entertainer, singer, hula dancer, musician, teacher, radio-TV personality, producer and author. Noted for her hits such as “Beyond The Reef” and “Hawaiian Hospitality” in the late 1940s, she performed as a Hula dancer in the group The Coral Islanders in the 1950s and later embarked upon a successful media career as a radio DJ for her own show KTRG and presenting her own TV cooking show Napua’s Kitchen in the 1960s. She made two guest appearances in the popular series Hawaii Five-O and also presented the Aloha Week and Kamehameha Day hula shows.

The next Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ernest and Freddie Tavares and was presented by their niece Tasha Tavares.  His son Terry Tavares along with Alden Levi, Kenneth Makuakane and Alan Akaka put on a performane to honor Ernest and Freddie.


Freddie Tavares (1913 – 1990) was an American musician and inventor. Born in Hawaii, Tavares is perhaps best known for his role in designing the Fender Stratocaster and other Fender instruments and amplifiers, although he was a virtuoso on the steel guitar, playing on many hundreds of recording sessions, radio broadcasts and movie soundtracks. The signature steel guitar swoop at the beginning of every Warner Bros.Looney Tunes theatrical short was played by Tavares. His other credits include work with Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, The Sons of the Pioneers, “Tennessee” Ernie Ford, Spike Jones and His City Slickers, Lawrence Welk, and Henry Mancini.

The next lifetime achievement award went to Jacqueline Leilani “Skylark” Rossetti for her extensive work in promoting Hawaiian Music.

You can check out a recent interview of Skylark with Leslie Wilcox here.

The final Lifetime Achievement Award went to the group Kalapana for their many years of great Hawaiian music.

They played a few songs for the audience that got everyone in the house grooving!

In 1973, childhood friends David John (DJ) Pratt and Carl James Malani Bilyeu auditioned at the Rainbow Villa for Cecilio & Kapono. Malani was soloing at the Oar House in Hawaii Kai and DJ was downstairs at Chuck’s in Sunlight with Kirk Thompson. They got together in DJ’s grandfather’s garage with Bryant Mackey Feary, another solo act, playing at the Oar House. They wrote songs, rehearsed, and at one point discussed the meaning of Kalapana. The literal translation of the word “Kalapana” is “sprouting money”. Kirk said the meaning was “beat of the music”, but he wanted “Dove” anyway. DJ thought it meant “Black Sand”. Regardless, they named themselves Kalapana, playing their first gig at Chuck’s in Hawaii Kai.

They became a regular band at a club called “The Toppe Ada Shoppe”. They opened concerts for Earth, Wind & Fire, Batdorf & Rodney, The Moody Blues, Sly & The Family Stone, and Cecilio & Kapono. They released their first, self-titled album, Kalapana, which included Jackie Kelso on sax and flute, Bill Perry on bass and Larry Brown on drums.

Kalapana performed a three–concert event at the Waikiki Shell during the span of June 25–27, 1976, where 25,000 people attended. In 1977, they helped select the entrants for the “Home Grown” album project.

Kalapana won several Nani Awards, the predecessor to the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. They were nominated for four categories and received “Best Performance by a duo or group”, and “Best Male Vocalist” for Mackey, who had split from the group and joined Billy Kaui (Country Comfort).

The group reorganized to include Randy Aloya, replacing Mackey, who was pursuing a solo career, DJ, Malani, Kirk, Michael and Alvin. The reorganized group included Kimo Cornwell (formerly with Beowolf and later with Hiroshima) on keyboards, toured in Japan and released “Kalapana Live In Japan” (Sun Plaza), “Northbound”, and “Kalapana Alive at Yokohama”. DJ, as Kalapana, also released “Hold On” and a solo LP “Branded”.

In Hawaii, Mackey & Malani regrouped and recorded “Kalapana Live Reunion”, a concert at the Waikiki Shell. The group changed members over the next few years while each pursued solo and duo efforts.

For me the most touching part of the afternoon was when the only son and grandchild of Mackey Fearey took the stage and addressed the audience on behalf of his deceased father.

As usual you can click on the pictures below for a larger view and don’t forget to tune into KFVE tomorrow for the live broadcast of the 34th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Show.

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