Grammy winner Daniel Ho headlines historical society’s Wahi Pana Lecture Series

  • The 2020 Hanohano O Kona: Wahi Pana Lecture Series begins with Daniel Ho, a Grammy award-winning Hawaiian music virtuoso on Jan. 7. Courtesy photo

CAPTAIN COOK — An award-winning musician, producer and Hawaiian storyteller will kick off a new lecture series aimed at broadening and sharing cultural and musical experiences.

The 2020 Hanohano O Kona: Wahi Pana Lecture Series begins with Daniel Ho, a Grammy award-winning Hawaiian music virtuoso, who made waves with his Hawaiian version of “Nothing Compares to You,” featured in the 2008 film Forgetting Sarah Marshall.


This lecture, Hawaiian Music and American Voices: A Performance and Discussion with Daniel Ho, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 7 in the pasture below Kona Historical Society’s headquarters in Kealakekua.

“We are so excited to welcome Daniel Ho to our pasture in partnership with the Smithsonian Institute to kick off our Hanohano O Kona Lecture Series for 2020,” said Dance Aoki, Kona Historical Society executive director. “Daniel is an incredible ambassador of Hawaiian music, and we look forward to hearing some of what he has learned of Hawaiian music’s place in the field of American music as a producer and performer.”

KHS collaborated with the Smithsonian Institute and the Association of American Voices to bring this special event to Hawaii Island.

KHS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of Kona Districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii. The Association of American Voices has been conducting cross-cultural engagement with audiences in more than 140 nations worldwide since 1993.

Seventeen U.S. bands representing the diversity of American music were chosen through competitive auditions to embark on two-week international tours in 2019-2020 as part of the American Music Abroad international cultural exchange.

The exchange fosters cross-cultural connections while showcasing America’s rich and diverse musical traditions to a global audience. During their tours, bands collaborate with local musicians, hold workshops and classes, and perform at community events.

Ho has worked over the years as a musician, producer, singer/songwriter, arranger, composer, engineer, and record company owner.

The most compelling of these roles has been as a six-time Grammy Award winning producer, featured slack key guitarist, and artist in the “Best Hawaiian Music Album” category. He also received Grammy nominations as an artist in the “Best Pop Instrumental Album” and “Best World Music Album” categories.

A Honolulu native, Ho’s first instruments at age 8 were organ and ukulele, followed by classical guitar, bass, and drums. He spent his teenage years orchestrating big band arrangements and moved to Los Angeles to study composing and film scoring at the Grove School of Music.

He began his professional career as the leader, keyboardist, composer, and producer for the contemporary jazz group Kilauea, which had released six chart-topping albums by 1997.

In 1998, Ho launched his independent record label, Daniel Ho Creations. To date, Daniel Ho Creations has released over 100 acoustic and Hawaiian-themed albums. Ho has received numerous Hawaiian music industry accolades including three Na Hoku Hanohano awards and 15 Hawaii Music Awards. He is also the recipient of six Taiwanese Golden Melody Awards for his work in world music.

Notable credits include singing Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ in Hawaiian for the feature film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and his widely covered ukulele instrumental anthem, ‘Pineapple Mango’ (The Breakfast Song).

The Hanohano O Kona: Wahi Pana Lecture Series consists of a series of events for three months in the spring that bring together distinguished speakers and award-winning musicians to share stories of Hawaii’s important landmarks, neighborhoods and ahupuaa in venues associated with these places.


“The Hanohano O Kona Lecture Series gives our community the opportunity to engage in a lively discussion about our history and culture, and creates the space for an educational, entertaining experience,” Aoki said.

To view the full lecture series schedule, go to More info: 323-3222.

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