Cyril Pahinui, legendary Hawaiian musician/ slack key guitar master, has passed. He was an integral part of my journey as a mentor, creative influence, performer, and kupuna. But beyond his music- I cherished his stories. His spirit. His presence. Cyril exuded a quality so rare among humans today; a deep humility rooted in his ever-present acknowledgement of his Makua (parents), his Kupuna (elders), and his ‘Aumakua (ancestors). He knew he was a part of something larger; a pua in a lei, a hua kanu to be planted, a drop of ua to serve as nourishment in the cycle of life. His art was his service, and it served many in a way nearly forgotten by the modern artist: his music honored everyone but himself.
We honor you Cyril. You have nurtured, inspired, given, sacrificed, represented with dignity, and served everyone you touched with your gifts of presence, creativity, care and love. You gave me the greatest gift: permission to be me by just being you. I’ll always cherish all of our interactions; the jam sessions, the talk story, being backstage with you and Jeff Peterson (you seated between us as though a “bridge”) as Jeff & I composed “Slackmenco” on the spot, you introducing me to Chelle at Kona Pier, us all at Nalo, you onstage with Uncle Led blowing us all away with your two skinny Washburn songbirds chirping “How’d Ya Do” from the stage, and the unforgettable times together in Queen’s as you used the last of your strength to sing along to “Hi’ilawe” with me.
You are a legend Cyril Pahinui, a legend that will be spoken of for endless generations of Hawaiians and lovers of Hawai’i to come. And now you are that drop of wai from my eye pouring down my cheek. I love you uncle. I know you aren’t R.I.P.- because you’re too busy K.K.P. (Kani Ka Pila). See you when my time comes.
A mau a mau ‘Anakala Pahinui, you pu’uwainui (big heart). Makana
PHOTO BY BILL HALE #hawaii#hawaiianlegend#hawaiian#slackkeyguitar#hawaiianmusic#amauamau#eternity#love#aloha#ahuihou#kanikapila#master#uncle#anakala#myheart#smiles#rip#peace#livealoha#makana#kihoalu#kupuna#alohakeakua#mahalo#mahalokeakua #🤙🏽