Top 20 things to do on Maui July 6-12: Surfer/singer Landon McNamara, Django Reinhart jazz, O’Bon dance, history theatre
July 5, 2023, 4:00 AM HST
* Updated July 9, 1:27 PM
With delicious stew of ethnicities on Maui, you could expect a diverse celebration of music and events, and that’s what’s coming up this week. Surfer-singer Landon McNamara performs his reggae hits, an O’bon dance takes place in Pāʻia, a visiting jazz group plays Django Reinhart music at a youth music benefit, and actors portray Hawaiʻi historic figures.
Check out the Top 20 list below. And for a comprehensive list of upcoming events – concerts, shows, entertainment, community events and outdoor/farmers markets – for this week and beyond, click here.
No. 1 — Landon McNamara with Chuku Boy (July 7, Mā’alaea)
Reggae songwriter-singer Landon McNamara performs with Chuku Boy at da Playground Maui on Friday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
McNamara’s songs are influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and Jack Johnson, who lived a few roads down on Oahu’s North Shore. McNamara’s father and an uncle are professional surfers. His song “Loss For Words” has 6.4 million views on YouTube. Must be 21 or older. Parking is free after 5 p.m. For more information, including tickets, go to daplaygroundmaui.com or call 808-727-2571.
No. 2 — Django Reinhart gypsy jazz at Kuʻia Estates Chocolate Factory (July 9, Lahaina)
Jazz Maui presents the special visiting band Swing Star with Gypsy jazz. They play in the style of Django Reinhart’s Hot Club of France at the Maui Ku’ia Estates Chocolate Factory on Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. The band members are multi-instrumentalists, including Mike Guzalak who plays the clarinet and saxophone. He also sings. Bass player Dave Graber, a more recent edition, graduated in jazz studies from the University of Calgary in Canada.
During the sunset jazz series, chocolate sommeliers serve chocolate delights of 24 different flavors as well as a cheese platter that has been added to the menu. Proceeds from the ticket sales benefits Jazz Maui’s music education program, including workshops with students in Maui schools and supports local nonprofits organizations such as Arts Education for Children Group/Jazz Maui. Advance tickets are required and tickets are available at the Chocolate Factory or JazzMaui.org For more information, contact Bryant Neal at [email protected].
No. 3 — History Theatre at historic Waiola Church (July 6 & 7, Lahaina)
Three historic figures in Hawaiʻi history are resurrected in History Theatre portrayals at the Waiola Church on Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. This theatrical performance engages the audience by offering three simultaneous stages that portray three historic characters at the same time. Guests are invited to walk through all three performances and enjoy the portrayals of all the characters, one by one.
The portrayals include King Kamehameha III’s foreign minister Robert Crichton Wylie (1798-1865); Hawaiʻi Territorial Gov. George R. Carter (1866-1933); and ground-breaking teacher and librarian Edna Allyn (1861-1927). Ample free parking is available on site. For more information and tickets, visit lahainarestoration.org.
No. 4 — Slack key masters perform at Napili Kai Beach Resort (July 12, Napili)
Slack key guitarist and singer Sonny Lim performs with multiple Grammy winner George Kahumoku at George’s Slack Key Show at the Napili Kai Beach Resort on Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. For more information and tickets, go to Slack Key Show.
No. 5 – Johnny Suite plays at da Playground Maui (July 8, Mā’alaea)
Singer-songwriter Johnny Suite, whose debut album “Keep it Movin’” was nominated for a 2020 Island Music Award, entertains at da Playground Maui on Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Opening up the show is Chante’. He is most known for his single “Thank You,” which has 850,000 streams on Spotify and 2.2 million on YouTube. He has toured with Grammy-nominated Maoli. Must be 21 or older. Parking is free after 5 p.m. For more information and tickets, go to daplaygroundmaui.com or call 808-727-2571.
No. 6 – Hawaiian concert series at Lahaina Cannery Mall (July 5-8, Lahaina)
Lahaina Cannery Mall is sponsoring a series of free Hawaiian concerts at its main stage on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 3 to 5 p.m.
The entertainment, coinciding with improvements to the mall’s food court, includes Nā Hōkū Hanahano award winner Kevin Brown on Wednesday, Hoaka Music with Kason Gomes on Thursday, and the trio Nevah Too Late on Friday. For more information, go to Lahaina Cannery Mall.
No. 7 – O’Bon Dance at Mantokuji Mission (July 8, Pāʻia)
A free Bon Dance will take place at Mantokuji Mission at 253 Hāna Highway on Saturday, starting at 7 p.m., and as part of a seasonal observance when Japanese and other Buddhists commemorate and reunite with deceased ancestors. It’s believed that ancestral spirits visit their relatives, then return to their afterlife.
The Bon dance is a celebration of this season, with a mixture of Hawaiʻi influences. Buddhist members sell a variety of island food. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 808-579-8051.
No. 8 – Namaka Pau’ole & Chayce Tancayo at Ocean Organic Vodka (July 8 & 9, Kula)
Female singer-songwriter Namakai Pau’ole and master guitarist and ʻukulele player Chayce Tancayo perform at The Point Café at Ocean Organic Vodka on Saturday and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. The duo performs Hawaiian-style music. The music is free.
The weekly schedule at Ocean Organic Vodka:
- July 6: Nā Hōkū nominee guitar master Matt Del Olmo and his band perform folk, blue grass, rock, country and island grooves.
- July 7: Jason Arcilla, who has played at Fleetwoodʻs, performs island-style grooves.
- July 10: Nā Hōkū nominee and falsetto CJ Boom Helekahi from Hana performs Hawaiian Island-style music.
- July 11: Pianist-singer Mark Johnstone performs blues, jazz, rock and island grooves. Johnstone is a member of Mick Fleetwood’s Blues Band.
- July 12: Returning after a tour of festivals on the U.S. continent, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Elele Tiana performs Hawaiian Island-style grooves.
No. 9 – Statewide juried exhibit opens on Maui Arts & Cultural Center (July 5, Kahului)
A juried biennial exhibition of works of 38 Hawaiʻi artists opens at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Schaefer International Gallery on Wednesday. The exhibit, which continues through Aug. 26, include works from a number of artists, including 11 from Oʻahu, five from Kauaʻi, seven from Hawaiʻi Island and 15 from Maui. Admission is free.
Artists submitted works in a variety of media, including photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, textile, mixed media, video, installation and new media.The juror for this exhibition is Dr. Andreas Marks, the Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese and Korean Art and Director of the Clark Center for Japanese Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Schaefer International Gallery is open during exhibitions from Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and before select performances in Castle Theater and Yokouchi Pavilion. For the latest updates on the MACC show, visit Maui Arts Biennial 2023.
No. 10 – Musical comedy Something Rotten (July 7-30, Wailuku)
The musical comedy “Something Rotten” opens at the Iao Theatre Friday and runs through July 30. Time Out New York said it’s the “funniest musical comedy in at least 400 years.” It’s 1590 during the Renaissance, and brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of the Renaissance rock star known as “The Bard.” The answer — the world’s very first musical. Tickets at MauiOnstage.com
No. 11 Violinist Andrea Walls at Java Jazz (July 7 & 11, Honokowai)
Violinist Andrea Walls and guitarist Josh Emmanuel perform at Java Jazz Maui on Friday and Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m.
Walls is classically trained and has played with symphonies and performed with various artists, including George Cusev and Don V. Lax. For more information, go to Java Jazz Maui or call 808-667-0787.
No. 12 – Blue Diamonds Trio at Diamonds (July 9, Kīhei)
The Gordon S jazz trio performs at Diamonds Ice Bar & Grill at Azeka Place Shopping Center Mauna Sunday during brunch from 10 a.m. to noon.
The trio includes Gordon S at saxophone, with keyboardist Pete Atkins and drummer Ken Stover. For more information, call 808-874-9299.
No. 13 – African dance classes (July 11, Wailuku)
Multi-talented Joie Yasha is holding the first in a series of African dance classes starting next week Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Afterglow Yoga at 145 N. Market Street.
Yasha, who lives on Maui, is a professional saxophone player and singer, performing quite often with different jazz groups at Blue Notes in Honolulu, as well as numerous venues on Maui. She has been a member of several African dance companies in Atlanta, New York, Guinea and Ghana and has taught classes and workshops across the U.S. and also in Greece, India, and Italy. Her background as a yoga instructor, meditation guide and healing art practitioner gives her a holistic nurturing teaching style that makes every dancer feel free and elevated. For more information, call 808-344-0195.
No. 14 – Benny Uyetake at Kimo’s (July 11, Lahaina)
Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner Benny Uyetake performs at Kimo’s Maui on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. Uyetake, who sings and plays the guitar, has opened for Jackson Brown, The Spinners, Los Lobos, Diana Ross and Boz Scaggs. For more information, visit Kimo’s.
No. 15 – Maui Swap Meet (July 8, Kahului)
The Maui Swap Meet features about 200 vendors on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is located off Kahului Beach Road, across Wahinepiʻo Road from the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
Vendors sell produce and a variety of goods and crafts. It often serves as an incubator for new businesses. For more information, call 808-244-3100.
No. 16 – Upcountry Farmers Market (July 8, Kula)
An Upcountry Farmers Market takes place at the Kulamalu Town Center on Highway 37 near Long’s Drugs on Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m. Vendors sell fresh locally grown organic produce including coconuts, macadamia nuts, fresh caught fish, tropical flowers, plants and trees, Maui grown coffee, lilikoʻi butter, raw and vegan prepared foods and exotic prepared foods such as Thai.
For more information, including any changes in schedule, go to Upcountry Farmers Market.
No. 17 – Kikakila with Geri Valdriz at Maui Coffee Attic (July 10, Wailuku)
Master lap steel guitarist Geri Valdriz with his band Kika Kila takes you back to a different era by performing traditional Hawaiian music at the Maui Coffee Attic on Monday at 11 a.m. The performance is free.
His website gerivaldriz.com includes his performance of song “Lapahoehoe Hula.” For more information, go to mauicoffeeattic.com or call John at 808-250-9555.
No. 18 – Hui Noeau art exhibit continues (through July 21, Makawao)
Hui Noeau continues its art exhibition “Beneath the Surface: Marine Life of Hawaii” through July 21. The exhibit is a community art exhibition celebrating marine biodiversity. Hui No‘eau collaborated with Gar Waterman, the Hui’s 2023 Artist in Residence, to engage the community in the discovery, celebration and conservation of Hawai‘i’s marine ecosystems.
This exhibition includes Waterman’s nudibranch sculpture, dynamic artwork created by Maui’s school children, and works of marine-themed art created by local artists. The Hui at 2841 Baldwin Avenue is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, go to huinoeau.com or call 808-572-6560.
No. 19 – Friday Night Is Art Night (July 7, Lahaina)
It’s Friday Night Is Art Night in Lahaina with dozens of galleries featuring appearance by guests artists and sometimes entertainment. Guitarist-singer Joe Cano performs at Sargent’s Fine Art & Jewelry on Friday and Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.
This week’s featured artist at Sargent’s is impressionist Mimi Steward – “Energized Color.” For more information, go to Lahainarestoration.org
No. 20 – Historic Sugar Museum tours (by reservation, Kahului)
Tours of historic sugar plantation life on Maui are conducted at Alexander & Baldwin’s Sugar Museum Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., except holidays. The last admission is at 1 p.m.
The museum at 3957 Hansen Road has exhibits about sugar plantation history during its 168 years on Maui and about the waves of immigrant laborers who came to the Hawaiian Islands, including the Chinese, Japanese, Puerto Rican, Portuguese and Filipino. Admission to the museum is free to residents and children 5 years of age and younger. For more information including the price of admission, go to sugarmuseum.com or call 808-871-8058.