Lifetime Achievement Awards

2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards Honorees

Jon de Mello

American record producer and owner of Mountain Apple Company Jon de Mello, has produced more than 150 projects ranging from traditional Hawaiian to contemporary island music. His most notable work is producing for legendary local artist Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole. De Mello continues to compose original music for television shows and motion pictures as well as produce recordings for the artists of Mountain Apple Company.

​Neva Rego and Betty Grierson
Neva Rego and Betty Grierson, vocal coaches and owners of the Bel Canto School of Singing, worked an extra hour every day for a year to raise money to build a school for underprivileged children in Cambodia. Coming from operatic backgrounds, both women have coached countless stars and continue to do great work through their training at the Bel Canto School of Singing in Honolulu.


Hiram Olsen

Hiram Olsen, a local veteran and guitar legend, is one of the finest lead rhythm guitarists in Hawai‘i. Olsen established a name for himself performing with the Jerry Byrd Trio at the Halekulani Hotel’s House Without a Key. His legend lives on today with the Hiram Olsen Trio featuring Olsen’s son, Casey Olsen performing at the helm as the group’s guitarist.

Roy Sakuma
‘Ukulele teacher and founder of the Ukulele Festival, Roy Sakuma has fueled the ‘ukulele’s revival in local culture and mainstream music. With more than 40 years of music experience, including his celebrated‘ukulele school, Roy Sakuma Ukulele Studios, Sakuma is a force in local music.

Elaine Ako Spencer
Recording artist Elaine Ako Spencer, who was a longtime fixture at the Oahu Country Club and The Willows Restaurant, is often referred to as a “beacon of joy” in the local music industry. With a singing career that spans over four decades, Spencer draws in audiences with her sweet soprano voice.

The Lifetime Achievement Legacy Recognition will recognize the following individuals posthumously:


Augie Colon       
Talented percussionist and the voice behind the jungle sounds of Martin Denny’s 1956 hit song “Quiet Village,” Augie Colon (1927-2004) is remembered by many as “Hawai‘i’s Grandfather of Percussion.”

Joe Keawe
Hawai‘i falsetto singer Joe Keawe (1918-1992) made a name for himself with his ability to sustain a high note at an even higher register.

Sterling Mossman
Popular Hawaiian entertainer Sterling Mossman (1920-1986), is most well-known for his appearance on the stage of the famous Barefoot Bar at Queen’s Beach in Honolulu. With his charming comedy routine and beautifully performed songs, Mossman quickly became one of Hawai‘i’s most popular entertainers.

2015 Lifetime Achievement Awards Honorees



Singer, songwriter, musician, bandleader, teacher and producer Henry Kaleialoha Allen has been the ambassador of Hawaiian music and the steel guitar since the 1950s.  Henry performed with and arranged music for many of Hawai’i’s great performers and continues to record, produce shows, teach steel guitar and perform on the Holland America cruise lines sharing Hawaiian music and culture with thousands of travelers from around the world.



In his youth, Harold Hakuole learned to play the ‘ukulele, guitar, steel guitar, bass, banjo, piano, drums, xylophone, saxophone and harp.  He performed in Waikiki in the 1950s and traveled to Japan, Europe and the mainland on promotional tours.  He was a stalwart studio musician and became the principal arranger for Tradewinds Records in 1958, producing and performing on more than two dozen albums, and many 45rpm singles featuring some of Hawai’i’s top-tier entertainers. Harold left us in 2001.



The Ho‘o‘pi‘i Brothers – Richard and Solomon – were born in tiny Kahakuloa Village Maui but became known worldwide for their soaring falsetto voices.  Their 1975 debut album “No Ka Oi” was followed by 6 more through 1999.  In 1996 the Ho‘opi‘i Brothers received the National Endowment for the Arts Folk Heritage Fellowship and were named the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Group of the Year in 1997.  Sol passed away in 2006, but Richard continues to perform and tour widely.



“Whodaguy” Ron Jacobs, along with “Uncle Tom” Moffatt was one of the original “Poi Boys” on KPOI radio in the 1960s.  Jacobs went on to a long and successful career in radio, eventually to co-create American Top 40 in Los Angeles.  His credits include recording Hawai’i’s first Pidgin English rock music, concert promotions and producing the Home Grown albums showcasing emerging talent who then went on to their own successful careers.  He also pioneered Hawai’i-based internet radio broadcasting of Hawaiian music.



Since the early 1980s, Kenneth Makuakāne has been a part of Hawai‘iʻs musical landscape – a recording artist, composer, producer, and engineer.  His credits include memberships in the Pandanus Club; producer for Na Leo, Amy Hanaiali‘i, Raiatea Helm OʻBrian Eselu, the Lim Family, Jeff Rasmussen and many others.  Kenneth is a 14-time Na Hoku Hanoahno Award winner. His catalog of compositions now numbers over 1,500.



Jimmy Mo‘ikeha began singing on Maui at age 5 and recorded his first hit record “Maui Girl” at age 11 after being discovered by Johnny Almeida.  Mo‘ikeha recorded 12 more 78rpm records and performed on the Hawaii Calls radio show and on Lucky Luck’s Luau TV show, toured Japan and continued his singing career in Hawai’i’s premiere venues through the 1950s and 1960s. Two LP recordings were released in the 1960s.



Founded in the late 1970s by Aunty Irmgard Farden Aluli, Puamana was a family affair and included daughters Mihana Aluli Souza, Aima Aluli McManus, and niece Luanna Farden McKenney.  They performed traditional acoustic Hawaiian music at the original Willows Restaurant from 1979 until 1993.  The quartet recorded 3 albums. Irmgard passed away in 2001 but Puamana continues to share their musical legacy in the tradition of their founder



In 1953, a few members of the Kamehameha Schools for Boys class of 1940 formed the Kamehameha Alumni Glee Club. Their ranks swelled and the Club has continued singing for 61 years in countless concerts, extended hotel engagements, on tours to Japan and the Mainland.  The Glee Club recorded three records over the years highlighting their a cappella Hawaiian repertoire; a compilation CD was released in 1964. The Club is currently under the direction of noted bandleader, Aaron Mahi.

2014 Honorees

Sam and Gary ‘Aikō – As sons of Genoa Keawe the brothers are her legacy. The late Sam ‘Āiko’s treasured silky voice is heard on many of his mother’s recordings. Gary ‘Āiko’s deep, rich baritone is featured on several records (including solo recordings). Gary has been a regular member of the Royal Hawaiian Band’s singing ensemble.


‘Iwalani Wilson Kahalewai – The late singer was one of Hawai‘i’s great soprano voices, a regular cast member of the Hawai‘i Calls radio show and recording artist. She was featured on show’s recordings and recorded as a member of the famed Halekūlani Girls. ‘Iwalani had a wealth of Hawaiian music knowledge and was a member of the Royal Hawaiian Band’s singing ensemble.


Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole – was the beloved lead singer of the famed Mākaha Sons of Ni‘ihau from 1976 through 1992. Later in his solo career he earned fame worldwide with his albums, which were certified gold in sales. His music was featured in movies and TV commercials which heightened his popularity even after his passing.


Cyril Pahinui – Son of renowned slack key master Gabby Pahinui and kī hō‘alu master in his own right, Cyril perpetuates the craft through his recordings and by performing and teaching slack key music. The multi-Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner was an early member of the iconic Sunday Manoa and Peter Moon bands before embarking on a solo career and performing in venues nationally and internationally.


Ben Wood – long time entertainment columnist for the Honolulu Star Bulletin, and now for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Ben has covered and supported musicians and recording artists in Hawai‘i for decades.


Krash Kealoha (Industry) Award

Polynesian Cultural Center – The Center is a Polynesian-themed living museum featuring seven Polynesian villages with performers demonstrating various arts and crafts. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Center celebrates the diversity of culture in Hawai‘i and has produced several recordings documenting the various music of Hawai‘i, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Fiji, the Marquesas, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga.














Sidney Grayson Award Winners

1978     Clara “Hilo Hattie” Nelson
1979     Don Ho
1980     Genoa Keawe
1981     Larry Lindsey Kimura
1982     Jack de Mello
1983     William S. “Bill” Murata
1984     Maddy Lam
1985     R. Alex Anderson
1986     Vickie 'I'i Rodrigues


Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

1987     Sol K. Bright, Andy Cummings, Dorothy Gillet, Young O. Kang, Harry Owens
1988     Irmgard ‘Āluli, Charles K. L. Davis
1989     Kahauanu Lake
1990     Arthur Lyman, Martin Denny, Alice Friedlund & the Halekūlani Girls
1991     Mahi‘ai Beamer, Ed Nielsen
1992     Nona Beamer, Eddie Kamae, Nina Keali‘iwahamana, Bob Lang, Rap Reiplinger
1993     Martha Hohu, Benny Kalama
1994     Ed Kenney, Emma Veary
1995     Violet Lei Collins, Danny Kaleikini
1996     Anuhea Brown, Sonny Kamahele
1997     Alfred Apaka, Gabby Pahinui
1998     Annie Kerr Singers, Myrtle K. Hilo, Donald McDiarmid, Jr.
1999     Lena Machado, Kimo Wilder McVay, Randy Oness
2000     George Chun, Richard Kauhi, Ku‘i Lee
2001     Myra English, Leina‘ala Haili, Violet Pahu Liliko‘i
2002     Haunani Kahalewai, Krash Kealoha, Noelani Māhoe, Tom Moffatt, Nora Keahi Santos
2003     Jerry Byrd, Linda Dela Cruz, Buddy Fo, Raymond Kane, Lydia Ludin
2004     Kawai Cockett, Bill Kaiwa, Peter Moon, Marlene Sai, Ka‘upena Wong
2005     Hui ‘Ohana, Kealoha Kalama, Jesse Kalima, Melveen Leed, Bill Ali‘iloa Lincoln
2006     Dick Jensen, Leila Hohu Kï‘aha, George Na‘ope, Herbert Ohta Sr., Palani Vaughan
2007     Gabe Baltzar, Loyal Garner, Rene Paulo, Society of Seven, The Surfers
2008     Edna Bekeart, Jimmy Borges, Brothers Cazimero, Cyrus Green, Olomana
2009     Keola & Kapono Beamer, Cecilio & Kapono, George Jarrett Helm, Sons of Hawai‘i, John Pi‘ilani Watkins
2010     Ida Keli‘iokalani Chun, Isaacs ‘Ohana, George Ka‘inapua Jr., Mākaha Sons of Ni'ihau, Boyce Rodrigues
2011     Kalapana, Jacqueline “Skylark” Rossetti, Nāpua Steven–Poire, Bill “Tappy” Tapia, Freddie & Ernest Tavares
2012     Ali‘is, Pua Almeida, Frank Delima, Wayne Harada, Alice Johnson, Kimo Kahoano, Moe Keale,

      Lim Family, Ihilani Miller, Nālani Olds, Betty Lou Taylor
2013     Sonny Chillingworth, Lei Becker Furtado, Robert “Bob” Nelson, George Paoa, Larry Rivera, Leo Nahenahe Singers


Special Award Winners

1978     Johnny K. Almeida, Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs, Alice Nāmakelua, Mary Kawena Puku‘i
1982     The Bishop Museum Award, presented to the Bishop Museum for its album Nā Leo Hawai'i Kahiko (Voices of Old Hawai‘i)

             Special Industry Award Winners / Krash Kealoha Award
2009     Hawai‘i Calls
2012     Royal Hawaiian Band  (name changed to Krash Kealoha Award)

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