APRIL 21, 1950

HAWAIIAN CYRIL PAHINUI BORN–FAMED SLACK KEY GUITARIST

Pahinui grew up Waimanalo, on Oahu.  His father was the slack guitar “Master,” Gabby Pahinui.  Cyril began playing ukulele at age 3, learned slack key by 7, and began performing on stage at 12.  He learned music in the traditional way, “watch with the eyes, and listen with the ears.”  Pahinui mastered 17 tunings and a range of finger-style approaches that comprise what is now known as the “Pahiuni Style.”  Cyril twice played at Carnegie Hall, contributed to 3 Grammy Award-winning albums, and received 17 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for his own releases.  He received the 2013 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship and 2013 Community Spirit Award from the First Peoples Fund.  In 2014, Pahinui received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Hawaiian Music and was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.  Finally, in 2017, he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Cyril died November 17, 2018.

Source:  “Cyril Pahinui,” NEA National Heritage Fellowship, 2017.  Retrieved 2/17/2020, https://www.arts.gov/honors/heritage/fellows/cyril-pahinui
Photo:  Greg Concilla May, 5/27/2012.  Permissive Use. 

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