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Virtuoso Peter Moon contributed to the Hawaiian music renaissance of the ’70s

In 1970 Peter Moon started an annual Hawaiian music concert called Kanikapila at Andrews Amphitheater at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The event ran until 1995 and provided a place for up-and-coming musicians and dancers to gain exposure. [photo: COURTESY FRANK ISAHARA  vis Star-Advertiser]

Peter Moon, an ukulele virtuoso, businessman and composer who contributed to a revival of Hawaiian music in the 1970s, died Feb. 17. He was 73.

George Darby, president of Moon’s record label, Kanikapila Records, said Sunday that he did not know Moon’s cause of death and that the family already held a private funeral service. Moon’s family could not be reached for comment.

According to entertainment observers, Moon had been in a Honolulu care home for about a decade due to an illness. Kanikapila Records said Moon had not performed or been seen in public since 2005.

Moon was a self-taught ukulele and slack key guitar player and debuted on the album “Meet Palani Vaughan and the Sunday Manoa” in 1968.

He continued recording with Sunday Manoa, which by the early 1970s comprised himself and Robert and Roland Cazimero, to create three acclaimed albums of contemporary Hawaiian music: “Guava Jam,” “Cracked Seed” and “The Sunday Manoa 3.”

Darby said Moon’s early albums with the Cazimero brothers were the “wellspring (of) the Hawaiian Renaissance.”

John Berger, writing in “Hawaiian Music &Musicians: An Encyclopedic History,” said Moon was a major figure in the history of contemporary Hawaiian music.

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