13th annual Gabby Pahinui Waimānalo Kanikapila

Local News


Imagine sitting in the backyard, both the mountain and the ocean are beside you, you’re with a group of friends, food and drinks in reach, and then everyone starts to just play music.  

That’s what Kanikapila is all about. 

The Gabby Pahinui Waimānalo Kanikapila was been held at Waimānalo Beach Park since 2007 in honor of the late legendary Hawaiian musician, Gabby “Pops” Pahinui.  

The Kanikapila is virtual this year.

“This allows us to recreate more of what the kanikapila was actually like on Bell Street,” says John Hart, board member of the Gabby Pahinui Waimānalo Kanikapila.

“There wasn’t a thousand people there.  I mean people came, but it wasn’t a concert.  It was musicians playing for other musicians.  And this online format allows us to film something that looks a lot like it was to begin with.”

The event will be live online, with pre-recorded performances from 65 artists.

This event is also a fundraiser for children. 

“What we do is host a free kanikapila and how we fund it is by selling t-shirts,” says Hart.

“The profits of those t-shirts is what funds our Hawaiian music in the schools program.  You see me, I’ve got one.  This is the 1995 version.”

Music is universal, touching people around the world.  

But it also played, and continues to play, a vital role in Hawaiian culture. 

“The original Hawaiian knowledge was transferred orally,” says Hart.

“Music was always a huge part of the culture.  There are several musical instruments that came out of modern times if you will.  One, of course, is the steel guitar.  Gabby originally started as a steel guitarist.”

Most may know him for slack key, but none the less, Uncle Gabby was one of the main figures musically in the Hawaiian Renaissance in the late 60’s.

To buy your 2020 Kanikapila t-shirt, go to the website www.gabbypahinui.com.  

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