Hawai‘i Jazz Legend Jimmy Borges Dies

May 31, 2016, 4:03 PM HST
* Updated May 31, 4:10 PM
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News sources report that Hawai‘i jazz legend Jimmy Borges passed away in the company of his family at his home on Monday, May 30, 2016.

In May 2015, Borges’s oncologist told him he had six to 18 months to live.

Borges was born on June 1, 1935, and died two days before his 81st birthday.

The news comes on the heels of the 39th Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards ceremony, during which he was honored as “2016 Male Vocalist of the Year” and “Favorite Entertainer” of the Year.

He also earned awards for “Jazz Album of the Year” and “Album of the Year” for his self entitled album produce by Jon de Mello with Mountain Apple during the Saturday evening event.


Vicki Bergeron Borges, his wife of 32 years, released a statement: “On behalf of Jimmy, his daughter Steffanie Borges-Juergenson, and our entire family, we are so very grateful for the love and support we have received from our friends, our community and from Jimmy’s fans in Hawaiʻi and throughout the world during these final months of his life. His decision to live his way until the very end was exactly the right thing for Jimmy and both a gift and a lesson for the rest of us.”


The family is planning a small, private Catholic mass per Jimmy’s wishes and asks for privacy during this time. There are friends who would like to remember Jimmy in a more public way and those details will be provided at a later time.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement on his passing.

“For six decades, Jimmy Borges brought joy to audiences with his unique voice, distinctive vocal jazz interpretations and warm sense of humor,” Sen. Hirono said. “Throughout his musical career, Jimmy entertained, but he also served with distinction as an ambassador for Hawai‘i.


“Off stage, Jimmy regularly gave back to his community, and particularly to Hawai‘i’s young talented musicians,” Sen. Hirono said. “The Jimmy Borges Endowed Scholarship at the University of Hawai‘i ensures that underserved students will have access to educational opportunities to help them pursue their musical dreams. My thoughts, prayers and aloha are with Jimmy’s wife, Vicki, and the entire Borges ‘ohana.”

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