He hoʻomanaʻo aloha no, In Sweet Memory of Cyril Lani Pahinui


Cyril Lani Pahinui – Kahahawai was born at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu to Philip Kunia Pahinui – Kahahawai and Emily Pulepule Kauha Pahinui on April 21, 1950 and died peacefully on Saturday November 17, 2018 at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu.

The Celebration of Cyril’s Life is open to the public and will be held at the Historic Kawaiahaʻo Church on January 19, 2019 at 10:00am with formal services beginning at 12:00. Kawaiahaʻo Church is located at 957 Punchbowl St. Downtown Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu.

Musicians are encouraged to bring an instrument and join in kanikapila.

Cyril Pahinui is not only the son of one of Hawaiʻi’s greatest musical legends, Gabby Pahinui, he is recognized as one of Hawaiʻi’s most gifted guitarists and singers capturing the attention of musicians and audiences alike with his delicate melodies, creative improvisation and striking percussive sound. Learning music in the traditional way by listening and watching his dad and many of Hawaiʻi’s foremost traditional musicians, Cyril developed a unique well-recognized sound that renders an intimate picture of Hawaiʻi, his beloved Island home.

Photo: Cyril and Chelle
Cyril and Chelle at 2010 GPWK Festival Photo Credit: Poohko Hawaii

As an internationally roving slack-key ambassador, Cyril has toured extensively in the U. S., Europe, and japan, performing twice at Carnegie Hall. Cyril taught for seven years at the annual Chet Atkin’s Appreciation Society guitar convention in Nashville and extended his love for teaching at worldwide workshops, and throughout the Islands including providing 10 years of free instruction for more than 800 elementary and high school students. Throughout his long career, Cyril contributed to more than 50 recorded albums with three receiving Grammy Awards and two others Grammy nominations. Cyril has also been recognized with 19 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and in 2014, he received the prestigious, Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cyril attended Kailua High School and completed his 2 years of military service as a SGT E-5 in the U. S. Army Sec VII Chap 5 Artillery in Vietnam in 1972. Cyril will receive full military honors at his January 19th services and his urn will in-time be placed at Puowaina (Punchbowl), Oʻahu in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Cyril has served on the Board of Directors of the Pacific North West Chapter of the Recording Academy (GRAMMY) and on the Board of Governors for the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts (HARA). In 2012, Cyril received the 2013 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship for Music and in support of his teaching, the Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award of the First Peoples Fund. In 2014, Cyril received the Duke’s Hoʻokahiko Award, honoring those who, live, exemplify and pass on the traditions of Aloha. Cyril was also honored with the 2017 National Endowment for the Arts, Heritage Fellowship Award, the highest award for traditional Arts in American and in 2018, a Rotary Club of West Oʻahu, David Malo Award.

Cyril Pahinui is survived by his wife Chelle Pahinui, Daughters Amber Pahinui-Stevens, Andrea Pahinui, Carrie McBurney Wright, Elizabeth MacDonald and Anne Shand; Brothers James “Bla” Pahinui, Phillip Kunia Pahinui; Sisters, Madelyn Coleman and Margaret Puuohau; and 19 grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Cyril’s Hawaiian music program at: naalehutheatre.org/ or by purchasing his new CD, Marketplace at cyrilpahinui.com. Proceeds from CD sales are donated to the Music Program in Waimānalo.