Mistress of the Mix: Island Treasure Hunt

The almost uninhabited south side of Maui

I’m an island girl. And I think I have the right to call myself that, because for a huge chunk of my adult life, I’ve lived on islands. The day after I graduated from college, I flew off to Greece and lived for several months on the island of Crete. At the end of the summer I traded an arid, Mediterranean island for an extremely wet island in the rainforest of Alaska. Decades later, it seems like all my vacations take me to islands. I’ve been to Jamaica, St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and these days I seem to keep ending up in the Hawaiian Islands.

When I started writing today’s column, I was actually on the Hawaiian island of Maui, on my honeymoon (which we couldn’t take until 6 months into the marriage). But as you read this, I’m back. But I’m still stuck on the island music, and by the time I’m done with you today, I’m hoping you’ll be just as stuck as I am. And I’ll get back to the music, in a little bit, but first let me tell you about my island treasure hunt. Right after you enjoy a little bit of music from my current favorite Hawaiian swing band, Kahulanui. Can’t get them on today’s playlist for you, but here’s the Grammy nominated band’s video that played on the big screen in the airplane on the flight over!

The day we arrived on Maui, one of my husband’s family members, Toni, was also there, just getting ready to leave the next day. We weren’t able to connect in person, so my husband challenged her to bury a hidden treasure for us somewhere on the island, and leave us a map to find it. Here’s the first creative clue we received on Facebook. Very clever, dontcha think?

We ended up driving down to the Maalaea Harbor where we headed out on a whale watching and sunset dinner cruise with the fantastic crew of the Quicksilver. But before we did, we followed a few more picture clues and got within just a few feet of our treasure before we finally gave up and called Toni so she could lead us the rest of the way to the booty. Turned out that it was hidden behind some rocks, where she’d drawn a big X, but it had washed off in a cloudburst the night before.

We had so much fun searching for our buried treasure, that we thought we’d leave a hidden treasure map of our own, to lead other friends to our favorite little spot on Maui. I’m not going to tell you what we hid, but you’ll know it if you find it. Just know that the real treasure is the beautiful locale, not what you’ll hold in your hand once you find it.  Our map wasn’t quite as clever as Toni’s, but if you take a trip to Maui in the near future and decide to brave the road to Hana, I think this map will pretty easily lead you to the hidden island treasure!

If this is too small for you to read (and these days I wear reading glasses over my contact lenses, so it’s too small for me), here’s the Island Hidden Treasure Map, easily explained:

  • On Maui, from Paia, head out on the curvy road to Hana.
  • Just before the 10 mile marker, at the 10th one lane bridge, pull over & park.
  • Take the path on the north side to the waterfall. It’s not far.
  • At the end of the asphalt, take 32 paces.
  • Look to your right, eye level (if you’re about 5′ 5″).
  • Your treasure is behind the rocks.

I promise, you’ll be glad you went to this little spot! If you ever actually go, please put another little treasure in the same spot so that someone else can enjoy it. Think of it as island geocaching. Speaking of geocaching, here’s your coordinates.

OK, back to the music! We’ve got more treasure to dig up! Besides the waterfalls and the map to buried treasure, one of the other things we really loved about our honeymoon on Maui was all the island music on the radio. You might think that one station could satisfy everyone’s needs for island music, but you’d be so wrong! Hawaii has one station for Reggae (which isn’t exactly authentically Hawaiian, but it does embody the laid back attitude of Maui, so its very popular and seem to fit right in). There’s another for contemporary Hawaiian music, one with Hawaiian music that appeals to the older crowd, and yet another for Hawaiian cowboy music. I’m not even joking. It’s not like country music over on the mainland, this is Paniolo….Hawaiian Cowboy music.  There’s island music everywhere you turn on this island, and when you’re driving on Maui’s road to Hana, there’s a LOT of turns.

So turn the volume up, and enjoy today’s Island Treasure Hunt playlist. It’s a mixture of Reggae, Hawaiian slack key, ukelele, hula, steel drum, island chant, and a few other island songs threw in just for fun.


To hear the Island Treasure Hunt streaming playlist, just click on the arrow below the written playlist, or head over to Grooveshark.

  1. Hula Kakahalaka – Dan Gibson
  2. Fish Market Slack Key – Ledward Kaapana
  3. Poni Aloha – Hui Ohana
  4. Mo’i O’ Lili’u – Hapa
  5. Island Dream Girls – Mana ‘Ohana
  6. Hula Blues – Ledward Kaapana
  7. Ipo Lei Manu – Dennis Pavao
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody – Jake Shimabukuro
  9. Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  10. Roots Radical – Sudden Rush
  11. All Night – Damian & Stephen Marley My favorite non-Hawaiian song heard on this trip
  12. Warriors – Ky-Mani Marley
  13. Ka U’i O Nalani – Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau
  14. Aloha le O Wai’anae – Hui Ohana
  15. Warrior of Love – Fiji
  16. Steel Drums Jam – Jamaican Steel Band
  17. Fiji Chant – Steel Drums
  18. Mokauea Ku’u Moku – Aloha Pumehana Serenaders
  19. Bossa Hula Nova – Lisa Ono
  20. Waimanalo Blues – Don Ho
  21. Aloha Oe – Marty Robbins Yeah, you heard me. Marty Frickin’ Robbins!
  22. Better Together – Jack Johnson
  23. Island Song – Zac Brown Band
  24. Stir It Up – Bob Marley
  25. Reggae Music – Jimmy Cliff
  26. I Hear Music – Ka’au Crater Boys
  27. Koop Island Blues – Koop
  28. Island Girl – Elton John
  29. Tiki Dance – Tahiti

Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for nine years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She’s the mother of a teenage daughter and a 7-year-old West Highland Terrier, and can’t imagine life without them or music. Valerie wakes up with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.

Valerie Ing
Valerie Ing has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for 14 years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She and her husband are parents to a couple of college students and a pair of West Highland Terriers, and Valerie can’t imagine life without them or music. The Mistress of the Mix wakes up every day with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

6 Responses

  1. ajac37 ajac37 says:

    What a great, eclectic mix. Whoever tho't you could use eclectic and Island Music in the same sentence? So glad you included Jake Shimabukuro. He makes me want to ask my fingers what they've been doing, wasting time for the past 70 years! LOL! and I would never have proposed the Beach boys and Kokomo, but you opened the door with the Marty Robbins tune. On the other hand, since Kokomo is in Indiana, I guess it doesn't need to be included in island music. I always wondered how the steel drum band got to Indiana. . . . .

    • Did you listen to Marty's version of Aloha Oe? It's AMAZING!!!! Seriously, best ever. He's more Hawaiian than…..oh, I dunno…I'd prolly get in trouble if I made a comparison. So I won't. But gosh, he's really good.

      • ajac37 ajac37 says:

        No, I didn't listen to Marty . . . but I will. I love his stuff . . . . I know it's hard to believe, but he actually did more songs than just El Paso.
        Thanks for heads up about the concert at the PCC.

        • ajac37 ajac37 says:

          OMG . . . I'D FORGOTTEN WHAT AN OUTRAGEOUSLY CLEAR TENOR VOICE HE HAD. You're right, he gets that Hawai'ian break in his voice., which is the first cousin to the western yodel, at which he was very good, also. Thanks for including that. I NEVER would have guessed!!!

  2. By the way Folks….it was just brought to my attention by my buddy Dave that HAPA (one of the authentic Hawaiian bands on today's playlist) is actually playing in Redding at the Pilgrim Congregational Church on March 20th. Should be an amazing show. Anyone who saw them at the Cascade when JPR brought them a few years back should remember how incredible they were! They are undoubtedly the state band of Hawaii.

  3. ajac37 ajac37 says:

    Well, you have me hooked on Island Dream Girls. A little Jimmy Buffet rhythm, Earth Wind and Fire bass line, Chicago horns and Eagles harmonies. . . . . . what's not to love!!!??