Top 20 things to do on Maui, Sept 27-Oct. 8: Natalie Ai Kamauu, Kanekoa, Vince Esquire Maui wildfire benefits, Oktoberfest
September 27, 2023, 2:00 AM HST
The ‘ukulele-powered band Kanekoa, the Vince Esquire Band and Grammy-nominated Natalie Ai Kamauu perform at benefits for Maui wildfire victims this weekend.
Additional fundraisers include Brigit and Bernard’s all-you-can-eat Oktoberfest with an Ohmpah Band.
Coming up is the wildly popular Rocky Horror Show, the 16th Annual ‘Ukulele Festival and a Pāʻia music marathon to help musicians who lost instruments in the Maui wildfire.
Check out the Top 20 list below. And for a comprehensive list of upcoming events – concerts, shows, entertainment, and community events, and outdoor farmers markets – for this week and beyond, click here.
No. 1 – Grammy-nominated Natalie Ai Kamauu performs at free benefit concert (Sept. 29, Wailea)
Grammy-nominated and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Ai Kamauu performs at a free benefit concert for Maui wildfire victims at The Shops At Wailea on Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The concert will benefit the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund that is aiding the Lahaina community devastated by the Aug. 8 wildfire. Guests at the concert will have the opportunity to learn more about Maui Strong Fund including the resources they’re providing for the Lahaina community, the types of collaborations they’re currently working on, as well as ways to donate.
The concert is a part of The Shop’s Ke Lani Hone O Wailea series. For more information go to The Shops at Wailea or call 808-891-6770.
No. 2 – Benefit features band Kanekoa at South Maui Gardens (Sept. 30, Kīhei)
Popular ‘ukulele-powered jam band Kanekoa performs at South Maui Gardens on Saturday at 5 p.m. with Arlie Asiu opening the show. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the nonprofit Maui Strong that supports Maui wildfire victims. Kaneko, which tours yearly and has performed at the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center, plays in a variety of genres from traditional Hawaiian to 80’s pop and jams and blues.
No. 3 – Vince Esquire Band performs benefit concert at Maui Coffee Attic (Sept. 29, Wailuku)
The Vince Esquire Band with Daniel Alana, Eric Gilliom and other special guests will perform at a benefit for Maui wildfire relief at the Pavilion at the Maui Coffee Attic on Friday at 6 p.m. Bring your own chair. No alcohol permitted.
Esquire, who plays with the ‘ukulele jam band Kanekoa, is among the best guitarists on Maui, and Gilliom is a singer-guitarist with one of Mick Fleetwood’s bands and featured actor-singer in the upcoming Rocky Horror Show. Alana has produced a new CD Soul Love.
No. 4 – Ocean Organic Vodka Farm features award-winning Kevin Brown (Sept. 29, Kula)
Three-time Nā HōKū Hanohano winner Kevin Brown performs slack key guitar at Maui Ocean Organic Farm & Distillery on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted at the stage to help Maui wildfire victims.
Opening for Brown will be island style guitarist Eli Lop of Oʻahu. Brown was a member of Waiehu Sons when the group debut in 1973 at the beginning of the Hawaiian Renaissance and was among musicians to play on the Grammy-nominated compilation Hawaiian Slack Key Kings, Volume 1 & 2. He has served as a mentor in the University of Hawaiʻi-Maui’s Institute of Hawaiian Music.
Other weekly entertainment at Ocean Organic Vodka Farm includes:
- Sept. 28 & 29: Lahaina born and raised Ikaika Cosma performs island-style grooves.
- Oct. 1: Deason Ka’ohelo Baybayan of The Lahaina Grown Band performs island rhythms.
- Oct. 2: Trio Nevah Too Late performs Hawaiian Island grooves & hula.
- Oct. 3: Pianist Mark Johnstone performs jazz and blues. Johnstone is a member of Mick Fleetwood’s Grammy-nominated blues band.
- Oct. 4: Ikaika Cosma performs island-style grooves.
No. 5 – 25th Annual Oktoberfest and benefit at Brigit & Bernard’s Garden Café (October Fridays & Saturdays, Kahului)
Brigit & Bernard’s Garden Café will be striking up the Ohmpah Band to celebrate Oktoberfest on Fridays and Saturdays this weekend and through October starting at 6:30 p.m. with an all-you-can-eat buffet. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Maui wildfire victims through the nonprofit Maui Strong.
Chef Bernard Weber said there will be an auction of surfboards, beer steins and other items. The menu has 18 items, including Bavarian style meat loaf, Hungarian goulash, German pork roast, veal sausage, apple strudel and vanilla sauce — and a shot of Jaegermeister.
The dates: Sept. 29 and 30, Oct. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28. For more information including reservations, go to Brigit and Bernard’s Oktoberfest or call 808-205-1841.
No. 6 – Marty Dread sings at Maui wildfire benefit on evening cruise (Sept. 30, Māʻalaea)
Reggae rocker Marty Dread performs during an evening cruise of the Pacific Whale Foundation to raise funds for Maui wildfire relief on Saturday at 5 p.m. Another fund-raising cruises take place with Jason Tepora on Oct. 6.
All proceeds for these events go to the the foundation’s Maui Disaster Funds. For more information including tickets, go to the Pacific Whale Foundation’s website.
No. 7 – Acclaimed comedy ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ opens at ProArts Maui (Sept. 29-Oct. 15, Kīhei)
The much acclaimed comedy “Kimberly Akimbo” opens at ProArts Maui on Friday and continues through three weekends. The hilarious play inspired the 2023 Tony-Award winning Best Musical “Kimberly Akimbo” on Broadway.
Main character Kimberly Akimbo is a teenager with a rare condition that causes her body to age four times faster than most youths. When her family flees Secaucus under dubious circumstances, Kimberly is forced to review her life on her 16th birthday. All the while, contending with her hypochondriac mother and a rarely sober father, and most terrifying of all, the possibility of first love.
The New York Times calls it the “Comedy of the Year” and one that is “a shrewd satire, a black comedy and a heartbreaking study of how time wounds everyone.” The length is 2 hours, with a 15-minute intermission.
Directing the Maui production at ProArts is Carrigan O’Brian. It stars Ally Shore, J. Scott McLelland, Karen Romero, Mica Oberg and Angelique Scarpelli. For more information including tickets, go to ProArts Maui or call 808-463-6550.
No. 8 – Band Grupo Cañamon returns to Lava Rock Bar & Grill (Sept. 30, Kīhei)
The Latin groove dance band Grupo Cañamon performs at the Lava Rock Bar & Grill on Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The band plays salsa, bachata, merengue and cumbia.
Heri and Jorge Florez along with Teresa Potic and Jose Torres Diaz provide the vocals. Other band members include Makana Argel on congas, Larry Fitzpatrick with bongos and percussion, John Zangrando on saxophone and flute, Cody Sarmiento on trumpet and trombone, and Diaz on maracas and guiro. For more information, go to Lava Rock or call 808-727-2521.
No. 9 – Heavy metal bands concerts at da Playground Maui (Sept. 29 & 30, Māʻalaea)
A two-day heavy metal, punk bands festival takes place at da Playground Maui on Friday and Saturday nights, including the Oregon guitar ripping, thunderous drums of Blade as well as The Gore, The Riffs and The Horror from Joliet, Ill.
Maui’s own band P.I.L.A.U. opens the Volcanic Strike ceremonies, and the sun-scalded Honolulu Hard Core will be performing on opening night two.
Doors open at 7 p.m. each day. General admission for west side ‘ohana is free. A portion of the proceeds will go to the wildfire relief. Parking is free with local ID after 5 p.m. It’s only for 21 and older. For more information including tickets, go to daplaygroundmaui.com.
No. 10 – Anthony Pfluke plays at Island Fresh (Oct. 1, Pāʻia)
Multi-talented Anthony Pfluke performs contemporary island music with a blend of reggae and slack key at Island Fresh Cafe on Sunday. Listen to his latest single: “Don’t Stop the Journey.”
Multiple Grammy Award-winner George Kahumoku said of Pfluke: “I’ve watched his talent grow into one of the shakers and movers of the next generation of Hawaiian music.” For more information, go to IslandFreshMaui.com or call (808) 446-0298.
No. 11 – Danyel Alana and Vince Esquire at Nalu’s South Side Grill (Sept. 28, Kīhei)
Soul and blues singer Danyel Alana performs with guitarist and ʻukulele master Vince Esquire at Nalu’s South Shore Grill at the Azeka Place Shopping Center from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
No. 12 – Brenton Keith and his Bag of Tricks at Mulligan’s On The Blue (Sept. 28, Wailea)
Mulligan’s On The Blue presents the magic show Brenton Keith & his Bag O’ Tricks on Thursday from 5:30 p.m. The show is suitable for all ages, with special pricing for children. Seating starts at 5 p.m. Reservations are recommended. For more information including reservations, go to Mulligans or call 808-874-1131.
No. 13 – Island Soul plays at Mulligan’s On The Blue (Oct. 1, Wailea)
The dance band Island Soul performs hits from the 70’s to now at Mulligan’s On The Blue on Sunday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Bring your dance shoes and watch the sunset. For more information including cover charge and reservations, go to Mulligans.
No. 14 – Sugar Museum’s Family Day (Sept. 30, Kahului)
Family Day at the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum features plantation games, crafts demonstrations and a variety of food. It takes play on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free to the event at 3957 Hansen Road in Puʻunēnē.
The museum, which is observing its 36th anniversary, has exhibits of the technology and development of the sugar industry on Maui, including the migration of immigrant groups. For more information, please go to sugarmuseum.com or call 808-871-8058.
No. 15 – ‘Rocky Horror Show’ at ‘Īao Theater (Oct. 6-31)
The “Rocky Horror Show” is back, this time celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Actor Eric Gilliom is reprising his role of the diabolically funny Dr. Frank ’N’ Furter. This fully produced stage production, with live band and rocking singers, has a lot of campy, interactive opportunities. Audience participation bags will be on sale. The musical had sold-out performances last year.
The plot begins with sweethearts Brad and Janet, searching for help after a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter. Their innocence is lost as they meet a house full of wild characters, including a creepy butler and rocking biker as well as Furter who unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.” For more information including tickets, go to mauionstage.com.
No. 16 – 16th Annual ‘Ukulele Festival at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (Oct. 8, Kahului)
The 16th Annual ‘Ukulele Festival takes place at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Sunday at 3 p.m. Gates open at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Donations are being accepted for the Maui Food Bank. Patrons are asked to bring needed items, including baby and adult diapers and personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. Donation bins will be located near the MACC’s main entry gates.
There also will be door prizes of several ‘ukuleles, made-in-Hawaii arts and crafts and food vendors. No outside food, beverages or coolers will be allowed. Attendees should bring low-backed beach chairs or blankets and relax on the lawn of the A&B Amphitheater.
Artists scheduled to perform this year include Jeff Peterson; Rama, Kamaka & Kalaʻe Camarillo; Kamakakehau Fernandez, Arlie Asiu, Benny Uyetake, Andrew Molina, Anthony Pfluke, the Hula Honeys, the Kamehameha Middle School ‘Ukulele Band, and the Kalama Intermediate School ʻUkulele Band. Also appearing will be Kumu Hula Nāpua Silva and Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka.
No. 17 – Renown ‘ukulele teacher Roy Sakuma holds workshop (Oct. 8, Kahului)
A free ukulele workshop by renown ‘ukulele teacher Roy Sakuma takes place at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Morgado Hall on Oct. 8 at 11 a.m. It’s a prelude to the 16th Annual ‘Ukulele Festival. Registration starts at 10:30 a.m.
Lessons are designed for beginning and intermediate players. It is recommended that students be able to hold C, F, G7 chords and they should bring their own ʻukulele. No pre-registration is necessary.
No. 18 – Pāʻia Bay benefit for Maui musicians affected by wildfires (Oct. 7, Pāʻia)
Soul and rock singer Gretchen Rhodes and the House Shakers, regulars at Fleetwood’s in Lahaina, and jazz and blues pianist Mark Johnstone will play at Pāʻia Bay Coffee & Bar on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. to benefit musicians who lost instruments in the Maui wildfires.
Rhodes and Johnstone are members of the Grammy-nominated Mick Fleetwood Blues Band. Both will be performing at 8:30 p.m.
Owner Sarah Lovetree said the benefit is also connecting a long list of musicians and their need for instruments with potential donors who have quality instruments. For more information, please go to paiabaycoffeeandbar.com or contact 808-579-3111.
No. 19 – Birthday Candles opens Oct. 6 (runs through Oct. 22, Wailuku)
Maui Academy of Performing Arts presents the Broadway play “Birthday Candles” premieres Oct. 6 and runs through Oct. 22 at MAPA’s Living Room, 2050 Main St. in Wailuku.
Written by American playwright Noah Haidle, the play tells the story of a woman and her loved ones on her birthdays as she ages from a 17-year-old to a 107-year-old great-grandmother. It starred Emmy Award-winner Debra Messing when it opened on Broadway in March 2022.
Haidle has had 10 plays performed in Germany where one newspaper compared him to Chekov and Beckett. He has received three Lincoln Center Lecompte Du Nouy awards and a 2005 Helen Merrill Award for emerging playwrights.
Haidle has also written for TV — including the Showtime series “Kidding” starring Jim Carrey.
The play is directed by MAPA’s artistic director David C. Johnson and is part of MAPA’s Living Room series. For more information, go to MauiAcademy.org.
No. 20 – Duo Kanekoa & Lopez at the Maui Coffee Attic (Oct. 6, Wailuku)
The “Make Any Kind Duo” performs at the Maui Coffee Attic on Thursday at 11 a.m. The duo, two of four members of the Kanekoa Band, features Kaulana Kanekoa on lead vocals and ‘ukulele with Don Lopez on vocals, ‘ukulele bass and fretless bass.
The two deliver a relaxed soulful ‘Kanikapila’ feel from originals to rock, R&B and Motown cover tunes, along with some popular Hawaiian songs. Admission is free. For more information, go to Kanekoa and Maui Coffee Attic or call 808-250-9555.
Editor’s Note: Send inquiries or event listings with attached photographs about Maui Entertainment, Arts and Community events to [email protected]. To add events directly to the Maui Now Events Calendar, click here.