Cyril Pahinui — slack key master, Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning recording artist, teacher, mentor and role model — died Saturday at Queen’s Medical Center. He had been in declining health for several years and was hospitalized in 2016. He was 68.
Waimanalo born and raised, Cyril Pahinui learned to play by watching his father, slack key master Charles Philip “Gabby” Pahinui, play music in the backyard with a circle of friends that included slack key guitarists Leland “Atta” Issacs and Sonny Chillingworth, and acoustic bassist Manuel “Joe Gang” Kupahu. His first instrument was the ‘ukulele. He started playing slack key at seven and was allowed to start sitting in with the adults at the age of 12.
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