James "Bla" Pahinui
Born in 1942, Bla Pahinui grew up with big musical shoes to fill: his father was the slack key guitar great, Gaby Pahinui. But music didn't seem to be any kind of onerous burden, as a child, Pahinui went nowhere without his makeshift ukulele, and in high school he formed a band with friends that played doo-wop and rock 'n' roll. But in the 1960s, like so many members of his generation, he was seduced by the burgeoning folk revival movement. In Hawaii that movement fostered a new level of respect for traditional Hawaiian songs, and Pahinui embraced that old music, ultimately joining his father and several brothers to form the Gaby Pahinui Hawaiian Band in the late '60s. After his father's death in 1980, Pahinui continued to record with friends and family, striking out on his own finally with solo releases that incorporate his broad-based influences, including Mana and Windward Heart.