Saturday, November 25, 2017

5 Waterfalls To Experience On Maui

For Hawaiians, water is life. Mineral rich cool mountain water flows down from the mountains nourishing crops on farms below. The waters continue their natural path down to the sea where it provides food for marine life and coral. It supports critical reef ecosystems which continue to thrive and flourish from this perpetual cycle.

Maui offers some of the most stunning waterfalls in the Hawaiian island chain. Most are located on the north side of the island and many are found on the famous Road to Hana.

From waterfalls surrounded by rock outcroppings located deep in the rain forest, to stunning "bridal veils" and plunging pools, any traveler will be in awe once they've experienced one of these natural wonders.  

Following are just a small selection of the many incredible waterfalls to visit during your stay on Maui.

Waimoku Falls

Set above East Maui's Sacred Pools of Ohe'o, these falls are accessible by the Pipiwai Trail.  The trail is a two-mile hike each way.  The trail is moderate to challenging in difficulty level, but the surrounding groves of banyan trees and bamboo along the trail make you feel like you've entered another world. Waimoku Falls are an incredible 400 feet high and a sight you won't soon forget.

Alelele Falls

Referred to as a "hidden" waterfall, it also happens to be located on a hidden road. When driving the back road to Hana, this is also the last waterfall you'll probably find. At the end of this fall's glorious 50-foot dropping cascade, you will find an amazing and secluded plunge pool below.  Because the falls diminish to a slow trickle during summer months, this fall is best visited in the winter season.

Twin Falls

Although these falls are very popular and can get crowded, the ease of access and beautiful jungle setting definitely make these falls a sight not to miss. Even though it is called Twin Falls, there are actually more than two. The biggest falls, including the breathtaking "Caveman", are only about a mile hike in from the road. You can even get away from the crowds by taking many different trails to view smaller falls. There is also a great roadside fruit stand to buy fresh fruit while you're there!

Honokohau Falls

Being Maui's tallest and virtually inaccessible waterfall, one can only view the the majesty of this 1,100 foot stunner by helicopter.  Located in a remote valley, conditions needs to be just right to experience Honokohau Falls. Best viewing is in the early morning to eliminate the chance of heavy cloud cover.
To book your helicopter waterfall adventure, you can find information here:

Wailua Falls

If you or someone in your party has limited mobility, Wailua Falls is a great option. This waterfall is nearly on the road- making it accessible to everyone. Many guided tours of the Road to Hana stop here. For the more adventurous, you can also follow a very short trail to arrive at the very base of these beautiful falls and soak in the sounds and pounding energy of these magnificent falls.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Choosing the Best Maui Luau

Photo credit: Te Au Moana Luau

You cant go on a Maui vacation without experiencing a traditional Hawaiian Luau. With so many luau options, how do you go about finding the right one? Your decision will be based on what matters to you most, whether it be price, food, performance or atmosphere. Regardless of which one you decide on, its a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and enjoy great food and entertainment. 

A buffet style dinner is usually served at most luaus and includes Kalua pork,island fish, local style chicken, steak and an assortment of side dishes and salads. Imagine yourself on the shores of Maui having an amazing feast with live music, hula dancing and incredible sunset views. Theres nothing quite like it!

Each luau is unique in its own way; some are more suitable for families while others are more on the romantic side and ideal for couples. Below is a list of the most popular luaus found in Maui.

Drums of the Pacific Luau (Hyatt Regency Resort in West Maui) - Reservations: 808-667-4727

Photo credit: Drums of the Pacific Luau

Your exciting journey begins with a shell lei greeting and culminates with a spectacular fire-knife dance. Complete with a traditional Imu ceremony,the buffet dinner includes kalua pork, mahi mahi, huli huli chicken, ulapalakua beef, polynesian rice and other authentic dishes. Includes an open bar and great entertainment. Enjoy a memorable evening of Hawaiian culture. 

Te Au Moana: Ocean Tide (Wailea Marriott Beach Resort South Maui) - Reservations: 877-827-2740

Photo credit: Kathy McCartney

Te Au Moana, The Ocean Tide is an exceptional luau experience which takes place on the beachfront of the beautiful Wailea Marriott. Enjoy a traditional Hawaiian feast while experiencing ancient Polynesian stories brought to life through traditional dance, music and games. Includes a fresh flower lei greeting or carved wooden fish hook necklace, traditional Imu Ceremony (Hawaiian underground oven cooking), Polynesian crafters and many pre-show activities. An unforgettable family experience!

Feast at Lele (505 Front Street, Lahaina West Maui) - Reservations: 808-667-5353

Enjoy a traditional Polynesian menu with music and dance from the Pacific Island nations of Aotearoa, Tahiti, Samoa and Hawaii. Known as the most romantic luau in Maui, every table is intimate and offers a prime view of the West Maui sunset. The setting is perfect for an anniversary celebration or for a couple wanting to experience an unforgettable romantic evening.

Grand Luau at Honuaula (Grand Wailea Resort, South Maui) - Reservations: 808-875-7710

Photo credit: Grand Luau at Honua'ula

Considered one of South Mauis Best Luau, youll enjoy a wide range of menu options such as fried macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi, baked molokai sweet potatoes, kalua pork and so much more! Youll also enjoy an assortment of Island Style desserts like traditional hawaiian haupia, guava mousse and pineapple upside down cake just to name a few. The activities include hula lessons and photos with cast members in full costume. Expect to have a fun-packed evening with lots of memorable moments.

Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock (Sheraton Resort, West Maui) - Reservations: 877-846-5554

Photo credit: Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock

Known for having one of the top rated shows in Maui, the Sheraton is a great spot for you to watch the torch lighting ceremony and cliff diving off of Black Rock at the beautiful Ka'anapali Beach. As you enjoy the luau buffet, performers from Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Rarotonga, New Zealand and Samoa will be providing authentic cultural entertainment.

Old Lahaina Luau (1251 Front Street, West Maui) - Reservations: 800-248-5828

If you want to enjoy a traditional hula and feast, the Old Lahaina Luau is considered as one of the most authentic. Youll enjoy a premium open bar and an outstanding luau buffet with Polynesian mahi mahi, Pulehu steak, kalua pig and other delicious regional cuisine. The food and award-winning entertainment makes this luau an excellent choice. Be sure to book way in advance since this is one of the most popular luaus on Maui!

Royal Lahaina Luau (Royal Lahaina Resort, West Maui) - Reservations: 808-672-2520

The Royal Lahaina Luau, also known as the 'Myths of Maui Luau', is considered a great luau for children (keiki). They offer some great family deals such as free admission for a child under the age of 11 with each fully paid adult. Youll enjoy an open bar, shell lei greeting, traditional Imu ceremony and both a keiki and adult buffet. Their fire dance finale is one you dont want to miss!

Photo credit: Grand Luau at Honua'ula

Wailele Polynesian Luau (Westin Maui Resort, West Maui) - Reservations: 808-661-2992

Serving a four-course meal family style, the Wailele Luau at Kaanapali Beach is a Maui favorite. Youll enjoy an open bar, traditional cuisine, Fiji and Maori performances and an exciting torch lighting ceremony. With a stunning oceanfront backdrop, this dinner show offers a perfect setting for an authentic Hawaiian cultural experience.

Maui video a sampling of some of our luaus

With luau options in Lahaina, Kaanapali and Wailea, it is easy to find one that is close to you. Regardless of which one you attend, its a unique opportunity to soak in the rich history of the Hawaiian people, their hospitality and delicious cuisine.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Oprah Winfrey speaks live on Maui at the MACC - June 26, 2017

Living here on Maui, "Magic" just happens!

June 26, 2017, Oprah Winfrey, our celebrity resident on Maui, was called upon to give a speech at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) to promote Maui living, good health, focused intention, gratitude, and talk story!  She is a wonderful motivational speaker and she knows how to entertain with her great sense of humor.   I really enjoyed the presentation.

Over 5,000 people attended
The event was advertised June 19th.  Eventually Maui’s coconut wireless reached my friend Rob who told me about the event with only 24 hours left to enter the sweepstakes.  I said, "YES let’s do it!"  It was not easy for him to enter, and I also tried with no success.  I however gave up, but pleaded and encouraged Rob to keep trying :).  And try he did for more than an hour until he finally got us entered.  He had to go as far as to make several telephone calls.  Mahalo mahalo Rob!  I spoke with other people who  also experienced technical difficulties and they gave up.  So we were lucky to get entered at the last minute and awarded two free tickets to the event sponsored by Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) and its app called Sharecare.

Those who downloaded the app to their cell phone were entered to win tickets. Sharecare allows HMSA subscribers to track their health, fitness, level of happiness or stress etc.  Sharecare app goes beyond HMSA members, their goal is to have the app go statewide.

HMSA Chief Executive Officer Michael Gold called the event a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

"We know that her ability to inspire will be a huge boost to our efforts to advance health and well-being across Hawaii,” he said.

More than 5,000 people showed up for the free event.  There was a long line stretching out to Kahului Beach Road.  The mood was festive and positive.  The day was warm in the sun, but well worth attending to see Oprah speak in her first ever live appearance on Maui.  This was a dream come true for me and many others.

I created a 4 minute video with snippets from her speech that focused on the “why” she moved here and her take on the Maui Magic.  My visual quality is not very qood on the video, for that I apologize.  Take in the message the audio is good and her message profound.  She reveals the reason why she moved here.  I added some pictures of upcountry, Kula, the beautiful land she speaks of on Maui so you will get an idea that our island is more than just pretty beaches…We have forests and jungles too.

It is a great place to live for those brave enough to take the leap but if not, an annual visit to our lovely island will leave you rejuvenated and in awe.

For the full hour Oprah Winfrey speech click this link to see the video.

Remember bring the Aloha spirit and mindset with you and take it back to the mainland with a full heart.  Let us make this world a better place.

Kathy McCartney RS#77317
La Costa Realty Hawaii LLC
Maui Vision Rentals LLC

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Maui Ocean Center: Hawaii's Premier Aquarium

The Maui Ocean Center allows you to explore Hawaii’s marine world up close and personal. With over 60 exhibits that include sharks, stingrays, turtles and a diverse collection of tropical fish, that reveal Maui’s colorful marine life.

With the world’s largest collection of live Pacific corals and breathtaking exhibits that capture the magnificence of the thriving marine ecosystems of Hawaii’s underwater world, it’s no wonder it was given the recognition as Top 25 Best Aquariums in the U.S. by Trip Advisor. Guests of all ages will enjoy discovering the beauty of Hawaii’s marine life as it unfolds in front of them in this intimate setting.

The Maui Ocean Center offers a mixture of interactive presentations, behind-the-scenes tours and indoor-outdoor exhibits, such as the 750,000 gallon shark tank, 360 degree glowing jellyfish tank, Marine Mammal Discovery Center, Living Reef and Turtle Lagoon. There are also multiple pools where you can touch and interact with the sea life. Most notably, the facility’s Shark Dive Maui® program is Maui’s only shark diving activity. This fascinating experience allows SCUBA certified individuals to enter the Open Ocean Exhibit and dive with sharks, stingrays and exotic fish.

Also known as the The Hawaiian Aquarium, the Center integrates Hawaii’s rich cultural history within its exhibits, defining the strong relationship of its people and the sea. This is beautifully captured in the Hawaiians and Sea Exhibit, which continues to be a highlight of the Aquarium. There’s no other place that provides such a unique learning experience and allows its guests close interaction with Hawaii’s marine life.

The Seascape Ma’alaea Restaurant is an ocean view dining option that is open 10:30 am-3 pm daily for the Center’s guests. There is also a gift shop (Maui Ocean Treasures) that is open 9 am – 5 pm daily where you can pick up souvenirs and locally made products.

For more information regarding ticket prices and hours of operation, visit the Center’s website:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Diana Ross Motown legend performs at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center June 2015

I have some more Maui fun and Maui music to share with you.  I went back through my archive of concerts and created a few short videos of different performers.

It's a treat to have famous performers visit our state like Motown legend Diana Ross June 2015.  I heard she was here for a family wedding and she decided to perform during her Maui stay.

Mahalo Diana Ross for the amazing show!

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Enjoy our Maui beauty.  I hope our movies takes you back to the land of Aloha!  Share the love!

Book your next vacation rental today
Telephone: 808-989-6369

We welcome you and want to earn your business.

Kathy McCartney

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Finding Your Perfect Condo Equals More Maui Fun

Tips for Finding the Perfect Maui Condo

View from Island Sands Rental in Maalaea
The Aloha state has always been a gorgeous vacation spot, but people are changing the way they relax in paradise. Visitors and locals are choosing beautiful condos and beachfront rentals over hotels in Maui. More and more, visitors prefer that “home away from home” accommodation while on their vacation. Low mortgage interest rates and increasing hotel prices are adding to this trend.  Here are some tips for finding the perfect Maui condo:

Weigh Your Options
Makawao upcountry

Kihei / Wailea
If you’re looking for a home-like feel on Maui and a relaxing, fun-filled experience, Maui Vision Rentals is the perfect place to begin your search. When looking for the perfect condo, it’s important to ask yourself questions like, would I like to spend my time in  Kihei/Wailea, Paia, Wailuku, Hana, or Lahaina/Kaanapali etc., all popular Maui destinations? You may want to consider a vacation on the beach or inland. Weighing these options will help make your Maui rental search smoother and easier!
Get to Know the Area

Red Sand Beach Hana
At Maui Vision Rentals, our diverse condos range from quiet beachfront resorts and stunning ocean view properties to centrally located condos in downtown locations. It’s essential that you know what you want to do on your Maui trip, i.e.: Do you prefer to spend most of your time on the beach, swimming, fishing, or surfing? If so, you may want to stay at one of our beach homes.

If you plan on experiencing Maui’s nightlife, arts and entertainment scene, then you should search for centrally located condos near shopping, dining and cultural venues. Our vacation rentals fulfill that option too.

Fleetwoods on Front Street
Performers Sammy Hagar, Mick Fleetwood and Willie K
The fun experiences on Maui are island wide and often the most difficult task is to decide on which show or experience you most want to do during your vacation.  The longer you stay the more you can soak in the Maui life and culture.  Some of our guest’s favorite excursions include snorkeling, diving, sunset dinner cruises, shows at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC), live music, and dancing. Fleetwood’s on Front Street is a personal favorite and snorkeling off the island of Lanai’s coast.  Maui hosts four community town parties for visitors and locals every week.  Join the fun at one of rotating Friday Town Parties.  The Friday lineup starts first with Wailuku, second Lahaina, third Makawao, and the fourth Friday belongs to Kihei.

Maui's Road Less Traveled

There are fun gatherings and local things to do off the beaten path, away from the tourist scene and crowds…There really are so many choices!  Since we live on an island you can get to most places in a short drive no matter which Maui Vision Rental condo you decide to book.  The condo location is your base from which you will move around and explore.  Make sure it is a location where you are most happiest in spending your down time.  This is your precious vacation time.

Consider the Costs

Rental C516 at the Kihei Akahi in Kihei 
One of the reasons why Maui vacation condos are so popular is because they combine privacy and relaxation with cost efficiency. Whether you’re looking to take a week-long vacation or stay for a month or even longer, cost can play a huge role in choosing your next Maui rental. If you’re on a budget, it’s important to plan your trip ahead of time. At Maui Vision Rentals, our condos are reasonably priced, beautifully decorated, clean and comfortable. The longer you stay we offer discounted rates.  We encourage you to start planning your Maui vacation now.

At Maui Vision Rentals, we provide clean, elegant and comfortable condos for a romantic getaway for two and larger properties to accommodate reunions with family and friends! 

Why wait another day? Get started by contacting us at (808) 989-6369 or visit 

Kihei Akahi C516 - Sale Nights Discounted Spring/Summer 2017

Maui is one of the top vacation destinations in the world. 

We have the perfect accommodation for you.  C516 is a lovely ocean view condo at an affordable price per night.  Stay in comfort and style.  This condo is located on the 5th floor in building C at the Kihei Resort in South Kihei.

Enjoy wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean, Mount Haleakala, tropical gardens, and glowing sunset skies.  This Hawaiiana style home will help put you in a tropical state of mind.  This beautiful 655 square foot home has a remodeled kitchen and bathroom with granite counter tops and dark wood cabinets including a new Pier 1 dining table and chairs, fresh paint, and new Queen size sleeper sofa with 6 inch memory foam.  AC in the living room and free secure Wi-Fi Internet access for your laptop and other devices. The bedroom has new hypoallergenic Berber carpet and new bedroom furniture with King size bed with a Sealy memory foam top and gel overlay for your sleeping comfort.  The condo has tile floors in the main living areas and bathroom. 

The well maintained Kihei Akahi complex has two swimming pools, BBQs, and a tennis court surrounded in a tropical landscaped setting. This complex is directly across the street from popular Kamaole Beach Park II and another five minute stroll to the border of Wailea and then Keawakapu Beach.

Write us for availability and take advantage of our latest Spring/Summer sales price starting at $99 per night!  Visit our website:

This privately owned vacation condo is operated in full compliance with Hawaii law. General Excise and Transient Accommodation taxes are collected and transmitted to the State of Hawaii on all rentals:   Hawaii GE and TA 201-758-1056-01 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Shep Gordon's New Year's Eve Extravaganza on Maui 2016 - 2017

Dave Mason and me
Me and "Weird" Al Yankovic
There are many things to do on Maui New Year's Eve! You can enjoy a simple celebration with your own fireworks on one of our many beautiful public beaches (as of this writing they are legal) and watch spectacular fireworks at the stroke of midnight launched from a barge out over the ocean in Wailea and also Lahaina.  Sometimes the best things in life are free.  Plus we have great weather year round that help make our celebrations enjoyable and comfortable.  We are indeed spoiled!

Many Maui restaurants, bars, and hotels offer tickets for their private parties if you want a more intimate, upscale experience that includes dinner, dancing, and kick off at midnight.

My video shorts of the fun event.  You will see great actors and singers 
not pictured in this blog.  Watch to see who the surprise celebrities are.

Fergie and Lynda Carter
Steven Tyler
This year December 31, 2016 I celebrated by attending Shep Gordon's New Year's Eve extravaganza!  What a blast.  My bucket list item fulfilled.  It was pricey but well worth it for the entertainment.  They served light pupus at 7:30 pm and I do mean light, so be sure you have dinner before you arrive. The bar served drinks all night long.  The ticket price increased this year 2016/2017  compared to Shep's previous parties.  My ticket was well over $600.  I'm not sure how many people attended.  Perhaps it was a couple hundred?  I liked the fact it was not too crowded.  I felt it was the perfect amount of visitors.  There was plenty of space to move and dance.  I met  interesting people who tell me they make this event their annual celebration.
Who is this man? 
Does anyone know?

Me and Shep Gordon
If you do not know who Shep Gordon is check-out this entertaining documentary of his fascinating life "Supermensch" produced and directed by Mike Myers.  It is funny.

Many of the famous performers are local Maui residents. The event is a fundraiser for the Maui Food Bank and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.  It is good to know that the price of the ticket helps our Maui community.

Me and Diana Krall
Me and Alto Reed
I had so much fun. It is one of the best events I have experienced here on Maui.  The celebrities sometimes sit in the audience to see the other entertainers perform.  I was able to meet a few during and after the show.

About 11:30 pm we left the ballroom of the hotel and headed to the rooftop of the Marriott hotel to experience the firework show over the ocean.  It was beautiful from above and I have seen it below in past years on the beach walk.

I created a short video of the event....Since I was dancing  and filming I decided to use a tool in YouTube that stabilizes the video it worked!  However, the words I typed are a little jumpy.  It took forever to upload to YouTube so I don't plan on fixing that minor issue.  I hope you enjoy the video and get a feel for the fun!
Alice Cooper and Damon Johnson

You never know who Alice Cooper's friends will be.  They keep it a surprise and mystery until the moment you are there.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Kanai A Nalu Unit 414 - Peace and quiet awaits you at this gorgeous ocean front home

Kanai A Nalu Unit 414
Peace and quiet awaits you at this gorgeous ocean front home

2 Bedroom / 2 Bath • Sleeps 4

Ocean front condo on 4th and top floor with beautiful ocean views! HIGH-END gorgeous upgraded property. Quiet home listen to the sounds of the sea

Welcome to Kana'i A Nalu a quiet resort that sits on the ocean away from the road.  This complex sits directly on a 3-mile stretch of white sand beach that spans almost the entire Ma'alaea Bay. This setting is wonderful for romantic sunset strolls. For the more active person this is a great beach to run on as you can do so for miles in peace away from the crowds. The west end of the beach is Haycraft Park and Ma'alaea Harbor. If there is a big south swell, the wave off the harbor, "Freight Trains," can be one of the best in the world attracting expert surfers. Towards the east of Ma'alaea is a great spot for windsurfing, during both trade and Kona winds. This property is located less than a mile walking distance to Ma'alaea Harbor and it is centrally located on the island between South and North Maui. Three miles of quiet sandy beach will entice you to walk, run, or build sand castles. The tropical water is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, or windsurfing.

A short walk down the quiet, tree-lined road will lead you to Ma’alaea Harbor with its great restaurants and shops, including the Five Star rated waterfront. Just steps away is the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium, a putt-putt golf course, rock climbing wall, trampoline and bumper boats. Fun for the entire family!

The lanai is the perfect place to enjoy morning coffee or tea as you watch the whales playing (December-March) or boats going in and out of the harbor. The ocean front heated pool is set in a tropical landscaped courtyard that will inspire you to relax.  If you’re not into swimming there are plenty of lounge chairs for reading and sunning. There are charcoal barbecues and a gas grill for you to use.

This 950 sq ft condo has two bedrooms and two full bathrooms, both have identical walk-in showers one has an added bench for sitting.  This lovely home is a highend remodel suite  for guests who want to stay in luxury and comfort.  Enjoy the tropical d├ęcor, three flat screen TVs, and Hunter Douglas blinds. The master bedroom has a comfortable king bed, the other bedroom has two comfy twin beds. There is a fully equipped kitchen that includes a washer and dryer.

This unit includes a window A/C in the living room should you need it although we find it is rarely needed because the tradewinds keep you comfortable.  There are 6 ceiling fans, and FREE secure Wi-Fi Internet access for your laptop and other devices. This unit is spacious and bright. The kitchen is fully stocked with dishwasher, stove/oven; linens and towels; washer/dryer inside the unit; a telephone for free calls, cable TV, and CD/stereo. This opulent suite sleeps 4 guests maximum. 

This privately owned vacation condo is operated in full compliance with Hawaii law. General Excise and Transient Accommodation taxes are collected and transmitted to the State of Hawaii on all rentals:  163-975-5776-01

Monday, February 13, 2017

Soul Kitchen Maui's Music Sensation

Soul Kitchen
Soul Kitchen is a music sensation here on Maui.  Each member is an award winning artist in their own right.  Year 2011 the group formed on Mother Maui at a sing-along in the Sacred Garden.  The three founding members are Tempa, her husband Naor Nave, and Michael Elam.  Today, the group has grown into an eight piece band.  Their music is described as acoustic-infused musical alchemy, both blending and transcending the traditional genres of Cajun, Zydeco, Soul, Funk, Blues, Jazz, Classic rock with Middle Eastern influences.

Soul Kitchen has a faithful fan base.  My girlfriends watch them perform and are inspired to dance wherever they play on Maui.  They invited me to one of their concerts several years ago and I joined in the festivities. Good times!  Tempa refers to these ladies as her “Goddesses.”  She goes on to say, “They are amazing goddess women that just show up and I love their energy.  I have met some amazingly strong, independent women on Maui. I just love them, they make my heart sing.”

Soul Kitchen has performed at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC), Wailuku’s First Fridays, Casanova’s Italian Restaurant, and Fleetwood’s on Front Street.  They play regularly at Mulligan's on the Blue in Wailea.  They are also available for corporate and private events.

Tempa Nave
I asked Tempa Nave for an interview to which she graciously agreed. Curious minds and fans want to know more about this special lady with the beautiful long flowing red hair and soulful voice.  She has won the hearts and captured the attention of local Maui residents and visitors.  Tempa is an award-winning lead vocalist for the Best Colorado Blues Band and honored with Best Soul Album Award.

Kathy:  You have a natural gift.  Were you born into a musical family?

Tempa Nave
Tempa:  My mother played guitar and sang.  She had a pretty good voice.  My uncle was a professional Bluegrass player and performed for quite some time with Ralph Stanley (who was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor and the Grand Ole Opry).   My uncle toured for many, many years and when I would visit, he took me to his recording sessions and gigs.  He was a huge influence on me musically.  I grew up with Gospel music and Bluegrass.

Kathy:  Tell us more about your childhood and the artistic influences that shaped you.

Tempa:  My parents were total hippies and I grew up on a bus with no electricity from the age of 7 to about 16.   We did not have a television or any modern conveniences.  I had a lot of down time so I would sing, read, and farm.  We had goats and chickens to take care of.  We had dinners outdoors and cooked over a campfire that was our life.

Kathy:  That sounds cool and very different.  When you were a teenager did you think this kind of sucks living this way or did you think it was cool when all the other kids were living in a home with four walls and a roof?  Do you look back on those days with fond memories?

Tempa:   We were totally weird as far as society’s norms were.  At times it was hard being a kid because I felt really different.  My mom didn’t allow us to eat meat.  Half the time I loved our life and half the time I hated it and wanted to eat at McDonald’s or have something sweet and sugary, things like that.  Now as an adult I look back on those days and I am so happy I grew up the way I did.   As a young kid, by the age of 10, I was reading Grapes of Wrath and To Kill a Mockingbird instead of watching cartoons.  I recently watched a funny movie, Captain Fantastic, which reminded me of my childhood.  It is a great movie and will give you an idea of how I lived.

Kathy:  You really had to immerse yourself in nature to survive.  If there was an end to our modern society and we had to survive by living off the land I would want you as my neighbor.  I think I could learn a lot from you about how to survive off the aina (land).

Tempa:  Sometimes when people talk about how crazy the world might get I do appreciate the fact that I know how to live off the land and could if I had to.  I love leaving as small of a footprint as possible I would like to leave even a smaller footprint than I do but at the moment this is a struggle within me.  Part of me would love to completely go off grid, not be on Facebook, not do social networking, and all that stuff but it is expected as a musician nowadays.

My big huge wish is that a couple of our songs that we have being reviewed right now will sell, and then maybe I can get closer to that lifestyle I want to live.

Kathy:  When did your musical career begin?

Tempa:  I was a chick singer in various bands with my former husband.  We had recently gotten divorced and I took that time to start my own project at the end of 1999, with my new band Tempa and the Tantrums, which went on to win Colorado’s Best Blue’s Band.  We won a lot of awards and toured a lot.  I ended up playing at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater in Colorado.  It was a great project.  We did a lot of things in that band including touring Israel.

My life changed dramatically year 2008 at the age of 28, I was diagnosed with Lupus. I was hospitalized a lot and still trying to work full-time in a traveling touring band.  We often worked 5 to 6 nights a week.  I became really ill and during this time, I was in my second bad marriage.  I was pretty lost at that time and ended up divorcing again.

Kathy:  You have had Lupus for a long time.  You are a survivor!  Share with us the trials and tribulations you discovered on the road to healing.  Was this a setback in your life or did it make you stronger?

Tempa:  I was constantly getting sick with bronchitis and I was given antibiotics and in three weeks I would be sick again.  I was weak and kept getting sicker and sicker and that is when I had heart surgery for Pericarditis that was caused by my Lupus.  I was 28 at the time.  This condition is caused when the lining of your heart becomes inflamed and fills with fluid and starts compressing your heart so that when you do any normal activities it feels like you had just run a marathon. I was told by my doctors that I shouldn’t have any more children.  Then I had my second son two years later. I have two kids today.  I have a daughter Shayna who is 27 and my son Isaac who is 20.  I lost my first son Sethan when he was 17.  He was gay.  He was Mr. Gay Pride Junior in Colorado.  He was in love with a boy that had some addiction issues and that boy killed himself and three weeks later, my son committed suicide. He had come out finally when he was 15.  It was a hard road for him.  Gay kids are usually bullied and made fun of.  He was really involved in the movement and was a peer counselor for the LGBT community at a place called the Rainbow Alley which was a safe house in Denver, Colorado for gay and lesbian transgender kids who got kicked out of their home.

Lupus made me learn to embrace my wolf.  I had to realize that some parts of having Lupus are probably good because my body tells me when I am stressed. Other people don’t know that they are stressed constantly and then one day, they end up falling dead from a heart attack. When I get stressed I get so sick it is immediate my body just shuts down.  I have learned to really change my lifestyle.  I avoid stress and do certain exercises.  Lupus reminds me when I’m not doing something that is not good or healthy.  It will let me know very quickly.  In a way that is kind of a positive thing.  I think Lupus has taught me a lot on a physical level and definitely on a spiritual level.

Naor Nave and Tempa Nave
Kathy:  When did you meet your soulmate?

Tempa:  I brought my band to Israel.  This is where I met my third husband Naor Nave when I was at my sickest.  He is Israeli and when we first met he was a finalist for the Israeli Idol which is much like the American Idol.  We became involved and had a long distance relationship for about two years.  We were both working really hard in our individual music careers.  My health had actually gotten better since I was with my new husband Naor, but it wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

I had lived in Colorado for over 20 years and that was where my band was based out of.  Naor eventually moved back to Colorado to be with me.  We played our music at mid-national band level and did the touring thing.  Being in a local band got to be difficult, it was hard to juggle it all.  I was burnt out.  I was working so hard in the music business simply to maintain a financial level of being alright that it took away my creativity.  You just don’t have time to keep that outlet flowing when you’re constantly worried about the money.

Kathy:  What brought you to Maui?

Tempa:  My friend Elizabeth hired me as her personal assistant.  I had been working for her for a year.  She went to Maui for a vacation.  We have a mutual friend that is Hawaiian who lived there.  Elizabeth returned and said she wanted to move to Maui.  I said Man I’m sure everyone wants to move to Maui.  She replied I want you to move to Maui with me.  I told her I can’t move to Maui.
I told my husband about Elizabeth’s invitation to move with her and I didn’t think we could do it. Naor gave me his advice, first, why couldn’t we?  Second, if we didn’t would we regret it?  My answer to that question was I might.  I was never a Colorado girl I was originally from Florida and I have always loved the ocean.

After spending a month in Israel playing music, doing gigs, teaching Blues and American music, Naor and I arrived to Maui on December 31st, 2011.  We celebrated by watching the sunrise January 1st at the top of Mount Haleakala.

Michael Elam and Naor Nave
Kathy:  So you came to Maui with your husband Naor to take a chance and start a new life.  What inspired the formation of Soul Kitchen your new music group?

Tempa:  Myself, Naor, and my friend Elizabeth arrived to Maui.  We had only lived on island for two weeks when my friend Chrissy and I went to Makawao to walk the labyrinth at the Sacred Garden.  I was burnt out on music before I arrived to Maui.  I had stopped writing and I wasn’t being really creative anymore.  While sitting in the garden, I looked up to the heavens and said, look higher power if you want me to continue music you’re just gonna have to give me a sign you need to let me know if I should stay in this.  This is all I’ve ever wanted to be in my life was a musician, singer and songwriter.

Naor Nave, Tempa Nave, and Michael Elam
As we continued sitting in the beautiful space of this garden, I heard a sing-along just around the corner from where I was sitting.  I recognized a song they were singing and joined in.  They all turned to look and asked me to sit with them, and so I did. They passed a songbook around and we all went in order. I thought it was cool so I sang and it just so happens that a couple of the guys were radio DJs from Mana’o Radio.  One of the DJs is the President of the radio station, Michael Elam.   He is our piano player in Soul Kitchen.  He asked me to do a radio show and that was my sign from the universe.  Music immediately found me and I had only been on the island for two weeks.  The group Soul Kitchen formed at the Sacred Garden sing-along.  It was really quick and soon Michael Elam, Naor and I started jamming, just the three of us.  We started the Soul Kitchen Trio.  We kept growing and adding new band members.  We did more gigs and have grown into an eight piece group and changed our name to Soul Kitchen.

Soul Kitchen
Kathy:  What are Soul Kitchen’s future plans and opportunities?

Tempa:  We will have our first music video coming out next week.  This will be our first single with the band.

The people in the band are amazing.  We are family and we all love each other so much:
  • Sue Wescott is our violin and fiddle player from Alabama.  From 1967-1977 she landed her first professional job with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.  She studied with Ivan Galamian and Sally Thomas and has played with every major tour and major artist you can possibly think of.  She attended Juilliard at the age of 12.  She is classically trained.   
  • Bruce Boege is our sax player; he has been nominated for a Grammy.  He is a great jazz guy, songwriter and sound engineer.  
  • Michael Elam is our keyboardist and President of Mana’o Radio.  He volunteers his time all over the island.  This is his first big music project.  He just turned 65 and is really excited. 
  • Kevin Garland our drummer plays the Cajon.  He is in his thirties and the youngest in our band.  He is also from Colorado and went to school for recording and engineering 
  • Kerry Sofaly is our other drummer and plays Cajon, washboard and percussion.  He also performs with the Haiku Hillbillies. 
  • We are heading in the genre of Zydeco, New Orleans funk and soul we are making that are main sound that is why we added Marcus Johnson our main bass player.  He has played with everybody and is an amazing jazz player.  
  • Tempa Nave lead vocals and songwriter
  • Naor Nave guitar, vocals, and songwriter

Soul Kitchen
Kathy:   Will Soul Kitchen release an album soon and when?

Naor and I probably have at least thirty songs in our catalog right now.  We are releasing singles this is the way to go.  After you have six singles you can then create an EP.

The second release will be given to a publicist who has some connections with influential people.  They seem to think the song is a hit.  I did vocals on that ballad.  We will release one more single before that as the band Soul Kitchen.  This second release I wrote and sing lead vocals is a mushy love song called “Kiss Me” It is written for my husband Naor and inspired by a really good friend.  The lyrics tell a story of finally finding that love after thinking it wasn’t really possible.

Kathy:  How is your health nowadays?

Tempa:  My health is pretty good today I would say I am in remission and have completely got myself off of methotrexate.   This is an anticancer medication for Lupus patients.  I am healthier than I have been for quite some time.

Soul Kitchen
Kathy:  Would you say that living here on Maui is instrumental in your healing?  I have heard from other people that Maui has improved their health.  Their lifestyle is different or perhaps there is good mana here?

Tempa:  Maui definitely has beautiful energy to it.  I just don’t do well in high elevations or cold climates.  My body doesn’t hurt like it used to when I was living in Colorado.  I would say I am pretty damn good.

BIG Mardi Gras show on Fat Tuesday, 
February 28th at Mulligan's on the Blue.  
Reservations recommended 808.874.1131.

To learn more about Soul Kitchen and where you can see them perform visit the following sites:
Soul Kitchen You Tube Channel
Tempa You Tube Channel