Month: May 2010

MidWeek: Kanikapila To Pay Tribute To Gabby In Waimanalo

Jul. 30, 2008 – A free concert of Hawaiian music will bring nahenahe sounds to Waimanalo Beach Park from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 9 in a Gabby Pahinui Kanikapila – a tribute to the revered musician known for his slack key and steel guitar playing.
He often was heard at similar jam sessions at his Waimanalo home. In keeping with that spirit, the August concert will have plenty of entertainment.
Headliners include James “Bla” Pahinui and Hukipau, Martin Pahinui with George Kuo and Aaron Mahi, and Cyril Pahinui with the new Pahinui Hawaiian Band. Many others are expected to perform such as Jerry Santos, Robi Kahakalau, Palani Vaughn, Makaha Sons, Sonny Lim, Melveen Leed, Kuuipo Kamakahi, Pali, Owana Salazar, Bill Kaiwa, Nina Kealiiwahamana, Makana, Kenneth Makuakane and Pandanus Club.
“There will be tents and tables set up for the kupuna, and others should bring their own chairs and a beach umbrella for shade,” said Michael Hikalea, who is coordinating the concert with the Pahinui ohana, supported by a $5,000 city grant. Hikalea is chairman of the Hui Malama I Ke Kai Foundation.
“This event benefits all 20 or so community organizations that are having booths with educational outreach,” added Hikalea, noting that food, soft drinks and crafts also are planned. Among the exhibitors are the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Habitat for Humanity and Hui Malama I Ke Kai.
Among his many achievements, Pahinui was an original member of Eddie Kamae’s Sons of Hawaii group. “Gabby had an original way about him,” Kamae recalled. “He had a sense of humor, and he liked to stir things up.”
Pahinui passed away in 1980 at the age of 59. He worked for 14 years for the city, which also named the Waimanalo Beach Park pavilion after him. After he died, local music sessions were held a few times to celebrate his life, eventually becoming the Kiho’alu Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival at larger venues.
For booth information, call 722-8575, e-mail or log onto

Star-Bulletin: Gabby’s kanikapila


Gabby Pahinui at his Waimanalo home in 1977.

Aug. 8, 2008 – Growing up with four sisters and five brothers against the base of the Waimanalo mountain ramparts, Cyril Pahinui had a house filled with music. Father Gabby “Pops” Pahinui was already a legendary musician – he’d loosen the strings at night so the kids wouldn’t sneak guitars out of the house to memorize tunings – and weekends around the Pahinui household tended to become one long jam session.

Although Pops has since entered the Great Lounge in the Sky, his musical influence lives in his children and students. The Pahinuis, led by Cyril, are attempting to re-create the magic of the backyard jams this weekend with the Gabby Pahinui Waimanalo Kanikapila, centered around the beach park pavilion that bears his name.

It runs pretty much all day Saturday, but that still might not be enough time to accommodate the dozens of musicians who want to sit in, more than 50 at last count. They include the Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Pali, the Jesse Kalima and Aunty Genoa Keawe Ohana, Jerry Santos, Melveen Leed, Robi Kahakalau, Makana, Ben Kaili and Kanikapila, Palani Vaughn and the King’s Own, the Makaha Sons, Dennis and David Kamakahi, Kaua, Hukipau, the trio of George Kuo, Martin Pahinui and Aaron Mahi, Sonny Lim, David Kahiapo, Dwight Hanohano and Del Beazley, Brother Noland and Friends, Nina Kealiiwahamana, Kuuipo Kumukahi, Pali, Owana Salazar and Bill Kaiwa.

Getting a few words in edgewise will be emcees Skylark Rosetti and Kimo Kahoano.

The Pahinuis are just a little too busy this week to comment, but luckily Cyril Pahinui made a public statement on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Web site.

“With a welcoming pot of beef stew and rice always on the stove, our Waimanalo home became the perfect setting for a rejuvenation of Hawai’i’s musical traditions,” it reads in part. “As Gabby’s fame grew, attendance at the weekend jam sessions mushroomed – sometimes hosting a hundred or more musicians and fans. … It has long been the dream of the Pahinui ‘ohana to acknowledge Waimanalo as a focal point of ki ‘ho’alu (slack key) and Hawaiian music by re-establishing these musical gatherings and their ability to perpetuate, and preserve the uniqueness of Hawai’i’s musical identity. And most importantly to recognize Gabby’s contribution at the building dedicated in honor of him and everything he stood for.”