A recording I did last year with slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson and taiko player Kenny Endo, called “Island Breeze” has been nominated for a Nā Hōkū Hanohano award. This is a very big deal in Hawai’i. I’ve won one with Jeff before, and Jeff has won a number of Hoku’s on his own.

We’ve been nominated in two categories – Instrumental Album of the Year, and Instrumental Composition of the Year, for one of the pieces on the album (see link below).

We have been asked to perform at the Nā Hōkū Awards Ceremony, which is tomorrow (23 May) in Honolulu. I suppose this is a real honour, though we play at the beginning and so are not part of the televised bit. No pay, other than free tickets to the ceremony, which includes dinner. Yet again (sigh), I am ‘singing for my supper’. There is a slight chance that we might even win, but probably not.

All good fun, though.

The main reason that I made the effort to be here is that it will be the first ever performance of taiko, and of the shakuhachi at these Nā Hōkū Awards. One could say that it’s historically significant. I think that it’s particularly important for Kenny, who lives in Hawai’i and much of his work is here, so this sort of publicity is a good thing, and certainly well deserved.

Cheers, Riley


Here is the track nominated for New Composition of the Year, “Na Pali”, composed by Jeff Peterson, Kenny Endo and Riley Lee.

Island Breeze