The Maui News
Grammy, a ‘dream come true’
By Lehia Apana, Staff Writer

KAHULUI – Just a day after their work won the award for Best Hawaiian Music Album at the Grammy awards in Los Angeles, George Kahumoku Jr. and Richard Ho’opi’i were still flying high, even when they were back on Maui at Kahului Airport.

Kahumoku and Hoopii -Click for larger image...Friends and family members greeted Kahumoku and Ho’opi’i at the airport after they had been through a whirlwind week of press junkets and awards ceremonies.

“It was exciting, and everyone treated us really well,” said Ho’opi’i of his first Grammy experience. “We wined and dined and met all kinds of people.”

“We had fun, but it’s really good to be home and smell the fresh Maui air,” he added.

“It was so much fun, but nothing can beat being back on the island,” Kahumoku said.

Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar – Live From Maui‘ beat out four other nominees, including two other slack-key albums.

Kahumoku and Ho’opi’i contributed to the multiartist compilation as a producer and musician, respectively. The album was recorded throughout the year at the weekly Wednesday night Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar concert series held at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. Aside from Kahumoku, other producers on the album were Daniel Ho, Paul Konwiser and Wayne Wong.

It’s a follow-up to “Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Volume 1,” the first album recorded at the Ritz-Carlton and last year’s Grammy winner in the Hawaiian music category.

Kahumoku said that while the award for a compilation goes to the producers rather than the artists, the album was a “group effort.”

Kahumoku was not a producer on last year’s winning album but said he was given one of the awards as a gift from Ho.

This 2007 Grammy will go right next to last year’s on an award shelf in his living room, Kahumoku said.

“It’s one of the most sacred places in the house – right above where we eat,” he joked.

For Ho’opi’i, attending the awards show was a “dream come true.”

“It has always been one of my wishes to be at the Grammy’s,” said Ho’opi’i. “I just never thought it would happen that way.”

Lehia Apana can be reached at

© COPYRIGHT 2007 The Maui News.

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