Cyril Pahinui — multi-Hoku Award-winner and 2014 recipient of the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievenment Award — was presented with the 2015 Duke’s Ho‘okahiko Award Tuesday at Duke’s Waikiki in the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.
The Ho‘okahiko Award recognizes individuals who exemplify Hawaiian cultural traditions; Pahinui was honored for his career accomplishments as a singer, musician, teacher and recording artist with the Sunday Manoa, the Gabby Band, the Sandwich Isles Band, the Peter Moon Band and as a solo artist.
Several dozen friends, relatives and members of the Hawaii music and visitor industries joined Duke’s Waikiki manager Keli’i Gouveia for the late-morning presention. Kimo Kahoano emceed; he was also one of many who shared memories of Cyril and his parents, Emily and Gabby “Pops” Pahinui.
Called forward to accept the beautiful Hawaiian petroglyph-style trophy, Pahinui acknowledged several of the entertainers in the audience and mentioned he started playing slack key when he was 7 years old. He thanked Outrigger Hotels and Resorts for its commitment to presenting Hawaiian music seven days a week (he plays there Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m.).
Pahinui also recalled the great musicians he had the opportunity to work with while growing up — his father, Sonny Chillingworth, Atta Isaacs and Peter Moon. And he thanked his wife, Chelle, for her support with his career and with the Gabby Pahinui Waimanalo Kanikapila music, saying simply, “She’s everything to me.”
“I’m so glad that I can continue to pass (the music) down to the new generation of young kids,” he concluded. “I’m still playing. There’s no end.”
John Berger has been a mainstay in the local entertainment scene for more than 40 years. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.