Is this for real?!

Buddhist temple in Paia

It was on Tuesday night that I was invited by Ras to go to a ‘special concert’. I wasn’t really sure until that night what type of concert it was, so when I got into the car with Ras and our neighbour Poney, who had invited Ras and I from the outset, I asked what kind of music we were going to be listening to.

Poney said ”Oh no, it’s not a concert, it’s more of an exclusive jam session”. She went on to explain as we drove up the Maui mountains, that this jam session was hosted every Tuesday in a house that belonged to a married couple. The guy who owns the house has a renovated garage type thing, where he has special guest musicians show up all the time, namely Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, and others!! Wow.

So when we arrived, there were about 10/15 people there, and the room looked like something out of a 1960’s movie. It had couches, peace symbols, Buddhas, incense smoke, many many guitars, drums, amplifiers, maracas, keyboards, posters, disco balls, the works everywhere! I was very warmly welcomed by Divino, a long haired bearded man who owned the place. He even greeted me to the jam by waving sage incense around me before they started making music! There were weed pipes and joints being smoked away all over the place.

After about a 20 mins tuning session, maybe another 20 people showed up. Mostly hippie looking men and women in their 50s. There were a few youngsters about my age around too.

When the music started I was absolutely blown away by the quality of sound and the professional experience and talent that came out of these instruments and singers. The songs they played had a kind of Santana sound to them. It was all improvised – there were a few covers, namely Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In the Wall’, which was truly excellent. Divino acted as a sort of chef d’orchestre, as well as playing his twelve string guitar, and would signal when the tone should go down or up, or would go over to one musician in parts and really get them fired up.

It was an amazing experience, to see and participate in this. I was only a guest, and was not asked to go up and play guitar or sing, but I never would have had the guts anyway. This was a level of musicianship that I have not yet attained! I played along with a couple of djembés I found lying around a few times, but that was it. And even that felt awesome because I felt part of this amazing band!

I didn’t take any photos or film – I really wanted to – but I did not see anyone else do this, and I figured it was way too exclusive an event to just start snapping shoots at people.

At the end, everyone gathered by holding hands, and there was a small speech given by Divino. He thanked ‘Mother Maui’ for all this great energy, and all the love and talent that reigned throughout the night. It was like a blessing ceremony, or similar to saying Grace before a meal… Something that I am not at all accustom to, but that fascinates me nonetheless. It was very hippie-ish, but hippie-ish in a kind of 30 years ago kind of way, which I thought was so much fun. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to witness something like that, and to perhaps be part of it again!

I met a younger guy there, a 22 year old dread-lock hippie looking boy, green clothes, who lives on nothing, and spends most of his days hunting and picking fruit in Maui’s jungles. He said that he would be able to help me out if I ran out of money and didn’t have any food, which was nice of him. Anyway, his name is Crafty. When I heard his name, I thought wow… so, I’ve come to this amazing place with this person called Poney, and have been greeted by the chef d’orchestre with great connections called Divino, and met a young hippie who can get me free stuff called Crafty…!

I couldn’t help but think when I was back in my bed that night that all this sounds like something out of a book! All the characters are named carefully to suit their different roles. So then I started asking myself whether I’m actually insane, and just inventing this whole Hawaiian adventure in my head, because I’ve been dreaming about it for so long. LOL.

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