Meet the Mana‘o Radio DJs – Dr. B

Posted on November 18, 2020

“Mana‘o Radio is a miracle radio station. We are non-commercial so we have this freedom to play what we truly love – and that’s a unique way to bring music to the people of Maui and beyond. We’re sharing our love of art. I do this for my own play, with the intention that it will be nourishing and good for the audience.” Dr. B, Mana‘o Radio DJ since 2004

As Maui’s only commercial-free, independent, community radio station, Mana‘o Radio is operated 100% by volunteers, including each and every one of our more than 40 DJs. These music-loving people (many of them musicians themselves) give their time and talent to create an infinite mix of meaningful musical programming – the opposite of commercial radio that “plays that same damn song everywhere you go” (as the Ani DiFranco lyric goes). 

So who ARE these talented music lovers who make up the Mana‘o Radio DJ ‘Ohana? We’re launching a new series of interviews – titled “My Mana‘o” – to let our listeners and supporters meet our DJs, hear their stories, learn about their diverse musical backgrounds, and discover why they love being a Mana‘o Radio DJ.

In This Issue – Dr. B, Host of The B Train and Holoholo Na Mele…a meander through the world of song

Dr. B, where does your love of music come from? And what’s your philosophy as a DJ?

I come from a family of scientists and I was sent to an Ivy League college. But I always knew music was in my blood; I was more an artist than a scientist. I love learning about all kinds of music; every time I discover a new album, I pay close attention to what songs sound best and feel best to me. My training as a psychiatrist helps equip me to be a better DJ because in psychiatry the key thing is listening; I’ve had to listen deeply to the person in front of me. When I review new music, I also listen deeply, tuning in to hear if a song has “nutrients” in it. I aim to really listen INTO the music—not just to the surface—to make decisions about what to put into my playlists. 

Being a DJ on Mana‘o Radio is an awesome responsibility – and I never want to waste air time or pollute the air waves with music I don’t truly love. I’m a musical doctor; I choose music that has mana in it. Good music is good medicine. My criteria are what Duke Ellington always said — “If it sounds good and feels good, then it is good.”

What’s special about Mana‘o Radio and its DJs?

We just love music. We draw from each other. Passion is the common thread among us. As a listener – and, yes, I am a listener too – I want to feel like someone authentic and real is talking to me. It’s not scripted. I get that there’s a real person in there – and that’s a treasure these days. People talk to Alexa all the time. I’d rather talk to a real person. A lot of people, I think, are looking for comfort, especially in these troubled times. When I listen, I’m comforted that these are real people who are choosing music that they love. Some of it is music that I hardly would know if it wasn’t for our DJs – like Marcus Springs on Tuesday mornings; his mix is a whole different trip that includes hip-hop jazz and reggae remixes. I would never tune in to music like that but I listen anyway because I’m expanding my horizons and I just love the vibe he creates. I appreciate his warmth on the air. He’s like a good friend to people who maybe don’t even know him. He says on his show: “I love every one of you and you can’t do a thing to try and stop me.” I stay inspired and learn about new music by listening to our DJs!
Why is it important to support this station? If Mana‘o Radio wasn’t here tomorrow what would that mean to you?

For me it would be almost as if the birds all went extinct. We’re so used to birds and birdsong and it’s a beautiful part of our life, and so is music. And Mana‘o Radio is a unique way to bring music to Maui. One of the great compliments I hear is when people tell me, “I was loving your music so much I had to pull the car over – I just had to stop and listen.” People tell me they don’t know what they would do without Mana‘o Radio – it brightens their life. I agree.

Listen to Dr. B share more about his love of music and Mana‘o Radio here on our website. And tune in to Dr. B live on KMNO 91.7FM on the following days/times OR anytime via our new and improved Listen On Demand feature. 
Holo Holo Na Mele10:00AM to 2:00PM
Saturdays (2nd, 4th and 5th of the month)

The B Train6:00 to 10:00AM Wednesdays

Mana‘o Radio connects Maui’s community of music lovers and brings together all walks of life in the common bond of music. If you would like to show your support and help keep the music flowing at KMNO, you can easily make a one-time donation of any amount online. Or sign up to be an Underwriter of our station or a specific show, like one of Dr. B’s shows! The options are easy and very affordable. Learn more here