Both the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser offer in-depth previews of the awarding of inaugural Hawaiian Grammy, and interviews with the nominees. The most interesting statistic is found at the bottom of the Star-Bulletin article: 17,000 Recording Academy members; Hawai’i-based voting members: about 90. One NARAS trustee estimated that about 10% of members vote in the Folk category; that’s about 1,700 voters. I wonder how many people will cast their vote for an artist they have never heard but only know by name. For this reason, I’m making no predicitons, however, if the voting was restricted to Hawai’i voters, I have no doubt that Keali’i Reichel would take it.
I’ve been covering this issue on NahenaheNet since well before the Hawaiian Grammy was established. Regardless of who wins, it will be great for Hawaiian music. I still have my favorites, though
Update: Even the Chicago Sun-Times has a feature on the Grammy, featuring an extensive interview with Keali’i.