Although Gabby never read music, he mastered both the steel guitar and the traditional Hawaiian Slack-Key guitar. He played completely by ear. He was once a featured soloist with the Los Angeles Symphony when, during a rehearsal, he heard a string of one of the first violins that was out of tune. He stopped and had it tuned before continuing the rehearsal. He appeared on Hawaii Calls and performed with many of the great groups in Hawaii. He was the central figure in what was known as the Hawaiian Renaissance in the 1970’s. He is considered the most important slack-key artist of the 20th Century and an inspiration to countless young musicians. Gabby held all-weekend jam sessions at their home which became legendary. A new Grammy Museum in Los Angeles honors Gabby Pahinui with many artifacts that include a guitar, festival photos and album covers.
See Gabby’s son, Cyril Pahinui, and his group perform Wednesday nights at the Outrigger Reef Hotel in Waikiki from 6-9pm in the Kani ka Pila Grille.
Attend the Annual Gabby Pahinui Waimanalo Kanikapila every April.
Learn about the Grammy Museum that honors Gabby Pahunui.