This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Raiatea Helm.
Grammy nominated Raiatea Helm, one of Hawaii’s premier female vocalists who preserves the Hawaiian falsetto or high voice tradition of the early to mid-20th century, will perform at Cabaret Jazz in The Smith Center March 31 and April 1.
Helm made history in 2006 as Hawaii’s first solo female vocalist ever to receive a Grammy Nomination for her sophomore CD “Sweet and Lovely.”
At 21 years old, she was one of the youngest performers to attend the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California. It was a remarkable achievement when you consider that she comes from the tiny island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i, a mere wisp of volcanic land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Her debut recording, “Far Away Heaven,” captured the prestigious Female Vocalist of the Year and Most Promising Artist Awards from the 2003 Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Artists (HARA). Raiatea Helm continued her award-winning tradition two years later with the release of her second CD “Sweet and Lovely.” (Raiatea Helm Records).
At the 2005 HARA Awards ceremony, she was recognized again as Female Vocalist of the Year and also received the coveted Favorite Entertainer of the Year Award. With the additional acknowledgement for technical merit in Engineering (Dave Tucciarone) and Graphic Design (Mele McPherson), she now claims six Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Few performers of any age can match that achievement.