Kahu Pineaha Profile

Chris Bourke
3 Jan 2014

Versatility was Kahu Pineaha’s calling card. In the late 1950s, when Auckland’s cabaret scene began to hum, he was constantly in demand for solo shows, which soon revealed him to be as multi-talented as Sammy Davis Jr.

A comedian as well as an accomplished singer and instrumentalist, in 1960 Pineaha recorded his only album – I Hear Music – then left for Las Vegas, by way of Australia.

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Kahu with Dave Brubeck
Photo credit: Chris Bourke collection
Kahu Pineaha - Stormy Weather (Tanza, 1952)
Kahu Pineaha - I Hear Music - Side 1 (Top Rank, 1960)
Did You Hear About Jerry
Kahu in Joy, August 3, 1959
Photo credit: Chris Bourke collection
Back cover, Kahu Pineaha – I Hear Music (Top Rank)
Kahu Pineaha - I Hear Music - Side 2 (Top Rank, 1960)
A young Tommy Adderley at the Pines, Wellington (far left), with cabaret performer Kahu Pineaha (in goatee), and the Garth Young Trio: Young in glasses, Bobby Little beside Pineaha, and Hymie Levin. At the front left is a Canadian bass player, Jimmie Wilson "who played there for some time when Slim was sacked by Pat McCashin," recalls Young. 
Kahu Pineaha and Eva Parata
Photo credit: Chris Bourke collection
The 1960 album I Hear Music, Kahu's only long player.
The Clive Trio - I Don't Know Why (Tanza, 1952)
In Gisborne as part of a 1959 Phil Warrren touring group: Kahu Pineaha, Simone, and Vince Callaher
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
Kahu Pineaha at the Crystal Palace, Mt Eden, 1959.
Photo credit: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections
Kahu Pineaha - Did You Hear About Jerry (Top Rank, 1960)
Kahu Pineaha - Kiss of Fire (Top Rank, 1960)
Kahu Pineaha.
During the 1980s strippers made way for jazz at this King's Cross, Sydney, venue. The Paradise Jazz Cellar offered music six nights a week, for no cover charge. Among the attractions was Kahu Pineaha, playing late night piano, Mondays to Saturdays. 
Millie Bradfield with cabaret artist Kahu Pineaha
Clive Trio with Kahu Piineaha - I Don't Know Why (Tanza, 1952)
Kahu Pineaha's debut EP for Viking in 1959. He would follow it with another for the label before signing to Phil Warren's Prestige Records. Thereafter all releases would be on Prestige or Top Rank (Warren was a partner in that label).
Cyril Paea, Kahu Pineaha and John Raumati
Photo credit: Chris Bourke collection



Top Rank


The ‘Kiss of Fire’ / ‘Did You Hear About Jerry?’ single was released all over the world, with copies turning up in Canada and various European countries

Kahu Pineaha, 1950s. From the Church of the Latter Day Saints' honour roll of its missionaries.