Maui Beat

’Nouveau flamenco’ fusion

Known for his Spanish-influenced instrumental music that he termed “nouveau flamenco,” Grammy-nominated guitarist Ottmar Liebert took a surprising direction on his 2015 “Waiting n Swan” album by delving into reggae. Taking its title from Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain,” and the ...

The air is full of America’s sound

When America’s co-founders Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley decided to release their first album of covers a few years ago, they recorded a number of iconic songs including Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” Simon and Garfunkel’s “America,” and a stunning version of the Beach Boys’ ...

Kalani Pe‘a’s big leap

Winning both a Grammy and a Na Hoku Hanohano award for his debut album, and with touring offers pouring in, Kalani Pe‘a had to make a difficult decision. It was time to give up his day job as a Hawaiian resource coordinator at Kamehameha Schools and devote his energy full-time to a music ...

Maui musicians busy as ever

Here’s something a little different this week as we catch up with some of our musicians and hear about their latest endeavors and a few of the artists and albums that they have been enjoying lately. In the midst of a summer-long co-headline tour with Chicago, Doobie Brother’s lead ...

Andy McKee ‘drifting’ along

A guitar phenomenon, Andy McKee burst on the world stage with a video for his instrumental “Drifting,” which has racked up more than 56 million YouTube views. For a time, three of McKee’s videos were concurrently the three most watched on YouTube. The song, which he composed at age 18, ...

Ron Artis II and The Truth

When he first played on Maui, Ron Artis II entranced audiences performing soulful, inspirational songs with his brother Thunderstorm Artis as an acoustic duo. Then he returned as Ron Artis II and The Truth, an electric trio that blew everyone away. This super talented Oahu-based ...

Feel the call of the drums

Known for performing at temples around the island during the Obon festival season, Maui Taiko will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the drumming ensemble with a special concert in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater on Sunday. The show will also feature ...

Ki Ho‘alu Guitar Festival

The 26th Annual Ki Ho‘alu Guitar Festival on Sunday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s A&B Amphitheater in Kahului offers a welcome opportunity for music lovers to enjoy a free afternoon of some of the best of Hawaiian music. Among the stellar artists entertaining at this ...

Keller Williams jams Upcountry

Virtuoso musician Keller Williams has been hailed as a multitasking wunderkind. As a PopMatters review notes, aside from the fact that he performs in a dizzying array of genres — from folk, funk and bluegrass to rock, reggae, and electronica — he seems to strike up a new combo seemingly on ...

Mick Fleetwood

In August Fleetwood Mac will celebrate 50 years since the original band made its debut at the Windsor National Jazz & Blues Festival in the U.K. August also marks the fifth anniversary of Fleetwood’s on Front St., founded by the band’s legendary drummer, Mick Fleetwood. In ...

Maui’s 2017 Na Hoku Hanohano Nominees

With the 2017 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards ceremony taking place on Saturday evening on Oahu, expectations are high for many of our Maui County musicians who released memorable albums in 2016, and have been nominated in all major categories. As a Grammy winner this year for his wonderful debut ...

Tough subjects inspire hope

“I read the news of the day, just as it’s coming down/ I do my best not to let it get me down/ I try to keep my head up, but this is Babylon/ This world’s in crisis, we try to fight it, this changing climate/ The scientists and the politicians divided by it/ So many ways we could solve ...

Need a classical music fix?

The annual Maui Classical Music Festival returns to our island on Friday with a series of concerts presented in historic churches in Makawao, Makena and Hana. Nine leading classical musicians will be featured including Chad Burrow (clarinet), Catherine Cho (violin), Amy I-Lin Cheng (piano), ...

Carlos Santana

“You have to have a supreme karma to live on Maui, or even to visit it,” says Carlos Santana. “There are people who may never even see Maui in this lifetime.” The legendary, multi-Grammy-winning guitarist and former Maui resident will return to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on ...

Steel guitar virtuoso Alan Akaka

“I just love what I can get out of the guitar, the lilting sound and full-body richness of the tone,” says acclaimed Hawaiian steel guitarist Alan Akaka. “It conjures up Hawaii.” This esteemed musician will join fellow artists at the ninth annual Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival, ...

David Bromberg brings ‘Nothing But The Blues’ to Maui

One of America’s most respected roots musicians, David Bromberg has played with an impressive array of artists from Bob Dylan and George Harrison, to the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and Willie Nelson. Heading to Maui for a concert on Saturday, Bromberg talked about his most recent album, ...

Living in ‘the now’

Two very gifted female artists will perform this weekend, Colbie Caillat on Friday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului and Heather Nova on Sunday at Seabury Hall in Makawao. Reviewing Caillat’s latest album, a USA Today critic enthused: “If there were a Grammy Award for ...

Baraka Moon

An internationally acclaimed player of the ancient Aboriginal didgeridoo, Stephen Kent has pioneered its use in contemporary music for more than 30 years collaborating with leading musicians such as Brazil’s Airto Moreira, India’s Zakir Hussain, jazz legend Wayne Shorter and Door’s ...

Tommy Castro and The Painkillers

One of the most popular blues and roots music artists performing today, Tommy Castro is looking forward to teaming up again with Willie K at the BBQ Bluesfest on Friday and Saturday in Lahaina. “I saw his show at a festival in Colorado,” says Castro. “What a talent, what a voice. ...

Bonnie Raitt

One of a handful of artists performing for decades who can still be counted on to release vital music, the iconic guitarist/singer Bonnie Raitt sounds as fresh as ever on her most recent album, “Dig in Deep.” “If we don’t know how to do this better by now we should just be hanging it ...