“The Kamaka ‘Ukulele exemplifies it’s musical significance to Hawaiʻi. Growing up I dreamt that one day I would own and play a Kamaka ‘Ukulele. That day came true when I met ‘Anakala Chris Kamaka while performing with the group Hoʻokena in 2004. It’s speaks of the music that I want to express along with the words of the mele.”
Ms. Raiatea Helm is undeniably the most preeminent Hawaiian songstress of her generation. Raiatea made history in 2006 as Hawaiʻi’s first solo female vocalist ever to receive a Grammy Nomination (“Sweet and Lovely” 2005) and she received her second Grammy Nomination two years later (“Hawaiian Blossom” 2008). The Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Artists has also honored Raiatea twice as their Female Vocalist of the Year (2004, 2006) and eight times their Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award Winner. Raiatea Helm has shared her Hawaiian music for over 15 years in venues across China, Japan, Tahiti and the United States.
Raiatea also received the first Music Fellowship by The Native Arts & Cultures Foundation in 2012. She was invited that following year to perform for the White House Forum on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage in Washington D.C. Ms. Helm appeared at the request of the White House Office of Public Engagement and the United States Department of the Interior part of a broader effort to commemorate and tell a more inclusive story of all Americans, including minorities and women who have made significant contributions to our nation’s history and culture.
Raiatea continues to honor her heritage with an effort to release her 5th solo Hawaiian Album in Spring 2016.