Calling the evening of July 1, 2023 a great one doesn’t do it justice. My fellow bandmates (Tarvin Makia, Jeff Dayton, Māpuana Makia, and Kenneth Makuakāne) and I in A‘ea‘e picked up two Nā Hokū Hanohano Awards for our debut eponymous release, for Hawaiian EP of the Year and – surprise of surprises! – Group of the Year. Kenneth and I also picked up the award for Anthology of the Year (a producer’s award) for his anthology release, “Huliau.” Words can’t express our gratitude. Sadly Kenneth wasn’t present for the awards as his presence was required at a church conference in Indianapolis that week.
It was quite amazing, given our group didn’t exist until late summer, 2022, and didn’t begin working together in earnest on the recording until fall. Even at that, it was accomplished with Jeff being in Nashville, Kenneth on O‘ahu, and Tarvin and I on Maui. Māpu happened to be visiting Tarvin (her father) over the Chrismas holiday, where she contributed her track. More on the group later, but it was simply an amazing experience with friends who became family.