Cyril Pahinui Named 2017 NEA National Heritage Fellow

National Endowment for the Arts Names
2017 NEA National Heritage Fellows

June 20, 2017

Washington, DC— Across the United States there are traditional art forms that shape our culture and make our communities distinct, whether it’s conjunto music in Texas, old-time buckdancing in Tennessee, or Chilkat weaving in Alaska. For the past 35 years, the National Endowment for Arts (NEA) has presented National Heritage Fellowships to celebrate and honor master artists working in the folk and traditional arts. Today the NEA is announcing the nine 2017 National Heritage Fellowship recipients, who will each receive $25,000 and will be honored in Washington, DC this September.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to honor these individuals for artistic mastery, as well as a commitment to sharing their traditions,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Our nation is a richer, more vibrant place because of these artists and the art forms they practice.”

The 2017 NEA National Heritage Fellowship recipients are:

*Dwight Lamb is the recipient of the 2017 Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowship in recognition of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.

Profiles of the 2017 Heritage Fellows are available on the NEA’s website, along with photos and audio samples of their work.

Cyrl Pahinui - Photo by Chelle C. Pahinui
Cyrl Pahinui – Photo by Chelle C. Pahinui

2017 NEA National Heritage Fellowships Events in Washington, DC
The NEA will celebrate the 2017 National Heritage Fellows at two events this fall in Washington, DC, both of which are free and open to the public. The NEA National Heritage Fellowships Awards Ceremony will take place at the Library of Congress on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. and the NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert will take place on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. Concert tickets are first come, first served and will be available later this summer. The concert will also be webcast live at More information about both of these events will be available later this summer.

About the NEA National Heritage Fellowships
The National Heritage Fellowships recognize the recipients’ artistic excellence and support their continuing contributions to our nation’s traditional arts heritage. Including the 2017 class, the NEA has awarded 422 NEA National Heritage Fellowships, recognizing artists working in more than 200 distinct art forms, such as bluesman B.B. King, Cajun fiddler and composer Michael Doucet, sweetgrass basketweaver Mary Jackson, cowboy poet Wally McRae, Kathak dancer and choreographer Chitresh Das, and gospel and soul singer Mavis Staples. More information about the NEA National Heritage Fellows is available on the NEA’s website. The NEA is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 class of NEA National Heritage Fellowships. The deadline is August 3, 2017. Visit the NEA’s website for more information and to submit a nomination.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more about NEA.

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Mahalo nui loa na ho‘olaule‘a me la kāua!

Lifetime award poster
Click to download a PDF of this poster.

Ano’ai kākou,

I am honored to announce that I have been selected for a:

Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award

Me Ka hau‘oli!

Mahalo to everyone who has supported my musical journey! I aloha you and am ever grateful that you have allowed me this honor. Although there are so many, including each of you my Friends, Family and Fans who have brought me to this place. Each of us has someone who has “loved us into being”, encouraged us to continue, and inspired our greatest achievements. For me it is my dad. Although he had very little money and few material things his ALOHA for music and his homeland and his ability to share that love has enrich my life beyond anything else.

Sometimes people ask me how I feel being compared to my dad. To tell you the truth, it doesn’t bother me. I have his blood but my own style. I’m proud to carry on the Pahinui name, do things the way he did, like singing and playing Hawaiian music, respecting and sharing with other musicians. And if people hear me and remember my dad, that makes me happy too.

My dad once told his friends, “my son’s time will come, I don’t know when, but it will.” I only hope that if my time has come, I hope he is proud of what I’ve done.

Where can you get this magical music? Why, right here, at our Cyril Pahinui Store. We are now offering our subscribers an opportunity to PRE-ORDER this amazing One Time, CD LIMITED EDITION. And for those who order before April 21st, FREE Shipping! Just enter the coupon code: MAHALO at checkout! Our inventory is being shipped to Hawai‘i and you CD will be sent out as soon as they arrive.

You may also (eventually) be able to get it online at, Amazon. com, CD Baby, iTunes and most download stores. (Keep in mind that with the digital download you won’t get the beautiful liner notes booklet. But if you do go the digital route, please stop by where all the booklet pages — and lots more information — can be found.) Once it arrives it will also be made available at the legendary Harry’s Music Store in Wai‘alae, Oahu and if you live in Hilo, at the renowned Basically Books, and you can periodically find copies of Cyril’s music in the gift shop of the Bishop Museum where Cyril teaches his monthly Slack Key classes.

For those of you wondering when there might be a live performance by the Sandwich Isle Band, we’ll keep you posted. And if you’re interested in hosting a performance, shoot us an email.

Meanwhile, get yourself a copy, and see if it’s not the best Hawaiian music from the seventies that you’ve ever heard! 


Thank you for Celebrating our CD Release!

Now, we know you Folks have been clamoring for a recording of our music performed at Honolulu’s iconic Blaisdell Hotel. And, we’re here to give you what you want….

To commemorate Cyril’s preeminent career and receiving this highest of honors, we also announce a Limited Edition reissue of: the Sandwich Isle Band.

The Sandwich Isle BandThe Sandwich Isle Band is the debut album of Grammy-nominee and Nä Höku Hanohano Award winner, Cyril Pahinui’s first group formed in 1975. The recordings feature the innovative sounds of bass player sensation, Brian Hussey, steel guitar wonder, Eddie Palama, the phenomenal guitar of Steven Hall, along with the on loan and versatile percussionist, Merv Ching and guest artist the virtuoso, Peter Moon, set in the picturesque exotic tropical paradise, the Sandwich Islands.

The Sandwich Isle Band is over thirty minutes of music selected and written by the incredible members of this amazing band.

There is an entertaining rendition of the classic hapa song, Honolulu How Do you Do, followed by the first time recording of the romantic composition by Cyril Pahinui and Brian Hussey, Sweet Memory, translated by the Master of ‘ölelo, Larry Kimura, followed by more elusive romantic tales from paradise and a whole lot more to give you the rest of the story!

Originally produced by Seabird Productions/Seabird Sound, this CD rendition comes in a beautiful custom-designed booklet package, featuring the original artwork of Oahu Artist, Keith Boutte, album design of Paul Maddox and photography of Robert Knight with production by go-to guy, Peter Moon.

The CD includes a 6-page foldout with all the song lyrics as well as the helpful liner note translations to read along with as you listen.

And while it does tell an historic story over the course of 10 songs, the Sandwich Isle Band was conceived so that each tune could stand on its own. You can dip into the flow of the music, and everywhere you land you’ll find a gem of a song that’s worthy of your time and your ears. No filler here. There’s traditional mele, island favorites and original compositions. It’s got quite the musical breadth, folks. We hope you’ll give it a listen.

Bishop Museum Classes 2013

Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou!


Aloha and Hauol’i Makahiki Hou to all our friends and fans. We hope you have a wonderful 2013.

Here is the schedule for the Bishop Museum Slack Key Classes for the Year. Everyone is welcome. If you want to join us just show up at 4:30 or 6:00pm ready to kanikapila. Discount if you attend both.


Bishop Museum Classes 2013

  • January 14
  • February 18
  • March 18
  • April 15
  • May 20
  • June 17
  • July 15
  • August 10 GPWK (HMHoP Students perform)
  • August 19
  • September 16
  • October 14
  • November 18
  • December 16

Festival des Arts d’ Hawai’i

Festival des Arts d' Hawai'i 2012

June 20 to July 7, 2012

Paris, France

Hālau Mele Hawai‘i ‘o Pahinui

Pahinui School of Hawaiian Music

Educational Programs and Workshops

In 2007, we expanded our instructional programs to establish Halau Mele Hawai‘i O Pahinui (Pahinui School of Hawaiian Music).

The program features group and private instruction in Kiho‘alu or slack key guitar, steel guitar, ukulele, song selection and composition, and the making and playing of ancient Hawaiian instruments.

Continue reading “Hālau Mele Hawai‘i ‘o Pahinui”