Maui Connections

“We were talking about the space between us all.”

George Harrison’s still mind-blowing “Within You and Without You” is playing on the Sirius music channel as our rented Chevy Impala deftly weaves through eight lanes of traffic on the ribbons of roadways running like blood vessels through Silicon Valley.

Space between us, indeed. On these futuristic freeways, there’s not much space between us for long. It always amazes me to drop back into urban California automotive choreography, zero to 70 in no time flat, especially after all those years of two-lanes-and-what’s-your-hurry? driving on Maui.

We’re back in the Bay Area for a few days before heading off to spend our third autumn in Tucson, Ariz., with our daughter’s family. As the column clicks into long-distance mode, we remember that “Maui Connections” extend beyond geographical borders, and crisscross time barriers as well.

We were living near this part of California — it was called the Santa Clara Valley then, before the apricot orchards gave way to a new kind of Apple production — when “Within You and Without You” was released in 1967 on the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s” album.

When we moved to Maui in 1991, George Harrison had a house — a very big house — at Nahiku landing outside of Hana. I remember running into him one day in the now-long-gone Ukulele Shirt Co. in Paia, across the street from Mana Foods.

Maui’s long been a place where larger-than-life icons could act more like normal, life-size friends and neighbors. Just ask Willie, or Mick or Kris.

But now the song is on the 24-hour all-Beatles channel, as Siri occasionally interrupts Sirius to let us know our freeway exit is approaching, here at ground zero of where the technology shaping modern life was first conceived.

It’s that technology, along with a little help from my friends like Cynthia Conrad and Jerry Labb (and whoever else wants to join in via social media) that I’ll be counting on to keep the column in the know for the next few months.

“When you’ve seen beyond yourself then you may find

Peace of mind is waiting there

And the time will come when you see we’re all one

And life flows on within you and without you.”

*****

Email from filmmaker and music festival founder Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier reminds us that his Maui Jazz & Blues Festival 2017, the seventh annual, returns to the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday for “a very special intimate evening of jazz and blues on the Ocean Front Lawn.”

The music lineup features the Maui premiere of Grammy-nominated, Jazz Hall of Fame sax master Bobby Watson; Blues Hall of Fame guitar inductee Jimmy D. Lane; Grammy-winning world-music guitarist Fareed Haque; Louisiana Hall of Fame cajun zydeco accordion master Jo-el Sonnier; Grammy-nominated jazz sax player Javon Jackson; and more. The food and spirits line up includes five gourmet stations along with a cash bar.

A JazzFEST kickoff sneak peek comes to Duke’s Beach House in Kaanapali from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday in a free preview featuring the debut of many of the artists. A number of other events are slated through the week in Kaanapali as well as the Four Seasons.

“It’s definitely going to be another fun, historic and epic JazzFEST experience for all of us here on Maui,” says Ken. “Having this caliber of world-class musicians, some having their debut appearance for Maui and Hawaii is a must see!”

For details, visit www.mauijazzandbluesfestival.com.

*****

Our Northern California departure almost coincided with George Kahumoku Jr.’s arrival to play three shows there, including a Thursday gig at Don Quixote’s in Felton.

*****

And email also brings news that Beth-Ann Koslovich bid aloha to Hawaii Public Radio listeners Aug. 25, to move on to a senior position at the nonprofit Kahi Mohala.

Beth-Ann joined HPR in 1999 and went on to produce and host scintillating two-way interaction over the radio airwaves on “Town Square” and “The Conversation.” Her voice was one of the most informed, articulate and caring on HPR during its evolution into two separate program streams now serving the entire state of Hawaii.

My friendship with Beth-Ann began when we co-hosted on a pledge drive, back in the days when Michael Titterton was the station’s melliferous-voiced boss and Maui’s Mary “Maizie” Cameron Sanford was the generous spirit behind a lot of those anonymous donations. For all the wisdom Beth-Ann has shared with NPR listeners, perhaps her greatest gift in this era of too much talk and too much noise is a talent for being able to listen.

* Rick Chatenever, award-winning former entertainment and features editor of The Maui News, is a freelance journalist, instructor at UH-Maui College and documentary scriptwriter/producer. Contact him at rickchatenever@gmail.com.

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