8 People In Malibu We Love Right Now, and You Should Too

Heather Carter

Mermaid ~ mer·maid /noun ~ a fictitious or mythical half-human sea creature with a woman’s head and the tail of a fish, conventionally depicted as beautiful and with long flowing golden hair. Malibu’s beloved Mermaid, aka Heather Carter, fits the definition perfectly. Blonde and beautiful, she’s the quintessential mermaid. “I love living in Malibu and being able to swim daily with the sea life in these sacred waters as a mermaid,” she said. As a mermaid, Carter “helps people remember their sea origins and respect the ocean and all her beings.” Her journey as a mermaid segued into a professional dance career, including in a production of Splash in Las Vegas. Questions abound. Where does one get a mermaid costume? Carter got hers at Merbella Studios. Being a mermaid surely sounds like a fun gig, but just how does a person make a living being a mermaid? Carter does many things and wears many hats, er – fins. She offers party services, teaching children about the sea. Using soul lore, she helps clients achieve spiritual enlightenment. She also helps them incorporate crystals into their lives and environments and teaches Vinyasa Hatha Flow yoga. With love and sea kisses, gratitude and wonder, and omnipresent respect for our ocean and environment, Malibu’s mermaid graces our majestic waters. 

Jo Barry

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Vivacious and gregarious, Jo Barry, office administrator and certified transaction coordinator at Sotheby’s International Realty, greets customers with a huge smile. “Jo is a pleasure to work with,” said Michael Novotny, Vice President and Brokerage Manager at Sotheby’s. “Her energy and wit add so much to our office. She is one-of-a-kind and I wouldn’t want it any other way.” Jo has worked in the Sotheby’s office for years and loves her job. “It’s so nice to be able to say that you absolutely love to come to work each day,” she said. Originally from London, Jo has lived in the U.S. since 1985. She raised her children here and was always very involved in their lives, serving as president of the PTA, Little League Coach and as a Scout leader. An avid traveler in her youth, Jo is filled with wonderful stories. “I was one of the first female club D.J.’s in the world and worked for a London Company named Juliana’s Discotheques,” she said. “I travelled around the world, including Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.” Jo shared a photo depicting her in Bali in 1979, with one of her regulars from the Pitstop Disco. “I worked in Sardinia at Cala Di Volpe on Costa Smeralda, where they filmed The Spy Who Loved Me with Roger Moore – I was an extra in that movie.”

Cisco Adler

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A consummate musician and life-long Malibuite, Cisco Adler, a GRAMMY® Award-nominated songsmith and artist, is one of those affable, rockin’ locals who makes Malibu special. “I make music all day, every day,” Cisco said. “Being a musician and songwriter is in my soul.” Adler invites us to escape with him on a journey through rhythms and harmonies, through Sunday vibes and, of course, to enjoy the Hippiedance – clothing optional, free spiritedness included – with his latest album, Hippieland. This is the third full-length solo from Adler, and was produced by his own label, Bananabeat Records. Extremely danceable, fun-loving and always with a vintage feel, Cisco’s music has a coastal, easygoing vibe that is contagious. “Cisco has an organic-ness of a vibe, time and space in music,” said concert producer/promoter Matt Diamond. “I’ve witnessed him create unique styles of music that have reached charted successes and that have influenced and brought joy to many as fans and as musicians.” Adler is hard at work on additional projects he said, full of the excellent vibes and rhythms his fans have come to expect from his music. “I’m excited about my new album by Yung Pinch that I produced, co-wrote and executive-produced for Columbia Records,” Cisco said. “I also produced a couple of songs for Super Duper Kyle’s next album on Atlantic Records and my artist, Goody Grace, is about to drop his debut album on Bananabeat/Atlantic, and I also just finished work on an EP by Gabriel Black for RCA Records. The first single, “Dead Yet” just dropped.”

Eamon Harrington

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“Art is the signature of civilizations,” American operatic soprano Beverly Sills once said. Artist Eamon Harrington, of Red Ladder Gallery in the Malibu Village, manifests that principle in large, bold acrylic works filled with incisive insights, some vociferous, some vehement. Harrington announces percipient perspectives, denounces injustices and challenges viewers to take a stand, make a difference, and be mindful that in times of turbulence, climatic crises and violence, mankind’s global narrative must effect critically-needed change, right wrongs and preserve our planet for future generations. Planet Grande Pictures, an independent production company owned by Harrington and his friend John Watkin, has won seven Emmys for its documentaries. Like Harrington’s documentaries, his art prods viewers to think about issues which are far too often ignored. When one enters Red Ladder Gallery, they often pause in reflection, lean in and learn. “Is your art a release, an expression of opinion, protestation of gratitude, or perhaps all of those?” Malibu Magazine asked. Harrington paused in reflection. “I think it’s all of those,” he said. “I’m Irish, so politics runs in my veins. I came of age in the 1960’s and 70’s and music and politics of that time influenced me.” Extemporaneously painting, Harrington is often surprised by what his canvases reveal. Harrington’s gallery will be relocating and he will be announcing his new venue soon, but for now you can find him and his art on his website, eamonharrington.myshopify.com.

Bibi Jordan

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Harnessing inner strength as she recovers from the Woolsey Fire’s destruction of her home, author, producer and artist Bibi Jordan exemplifies Malibu’s pertinacity. Bibi is on a journey – literally and figuratively – as she reconfigures her life, redefines her focus, and shares her positivity through her website Hipsilver.com, which features her activities as a travel curator focused on transforming women. “I’m kicking off a new story about my fabulous trip to Uganda,” Bibi wrote in an email to followers, noting it will be “an extraordinary journey of dreams manifested...not just mine, but my Uganda family, all for two great causes: protecting the Gorillas and creating economic viability for their coffee-farmer neighbors.” Many who lost everything in the Woolsey fire continue to struggle and grieve. However, the fire also ignited Bibi’s creativity and adventurous spirit. “It’s not what you own that matters,” she said. “It’s what’s in your mind and heart.” Recently, Red Ladder Gallery hosted a premier of Bibi’s mini-documentary The Phoenix Sisterhood of Malibu, a work depicting how five women affected by the fire supported one another, transformed, and found strength to work through emotions and challenges, emerging stronger and fashioning new futures in the process.

Shannon McGiffert and Natalie McGiffert

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Malibu’s answer to the itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie polka dot bikini is on show at the Tracy Park Gallery in Cross Creek on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through July. Beautifully crocheted by the equally beautiful Shannon and Natalie McGiffert, a charming mother and daughter pair, the intricate designs on their “wonkytops” are fun and lovely, with gorgeous colors and detail. The pair makes bikini tops for babies and children as well. There are also a few bikinis available at Ambiance Skin and Body Day Spa in the Malibu Country Mart. This is the first collaborative venture for the mother and daughter, each well-known throughout Malibu and beyond. A Malibu native, Shannon is a staple in the community, often surfing every morning before her work as a staffer at the beloved K Chocolatier in Cross Creek. Natalie is an accomplished and decorated gymnast, having won a gold medal and two silver medals as part of America’s group rhythmic gymnastics team in the 2015 Pan American Games. She was also an Olympian at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. In addition, Shannon is a local artist, specializing in producing tiles that harken back to the motif of Malibu tiles. “My favorite medium is acrylic on wood using the iconic Malibu tile designs,” she said. “I call some of my works Malibu Tile Diety’s.”

Alejandra De Luca

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“Your time as a caterpillar has expired . . . open your wings and fly,” declares a sign at the entrance to Alejandra DeLuca’s new Trancas Country Mart meditation center, Malibu Meditations. “I’m so grateful to open this space as an offering to the community,” DeLuca said, as she sat in her center in front of a gorgeous, gold-leafed image reading: Journey. Visitors to Alejandra’s center can expect a quiet, sacred space of peace and solace, where the walls and floors are treated to prevent electromagnetic field (EMF) rays from interrupting visitors’ efforts to center themselves, practice yoga and breathe deeply. The center has been designed as a place where guests can gather strength and focus. “We are bombarded with electrical energy,” DeLuca said. “We need a safe place to be calm.” The center offers yoga, meditation, sound healing, and one-on-one healing sessions with Alejandra, who is trained in Pranic healing, an energy “no-touch” modality focusing on one’s body being able to heal itself. Alejandra noted that several healing modalities are offered at the center and she stressed proper breathing is central to healing. Guests can also enjoy a well-curated boutique offering healing essences, herbs and meditation accoutrements from all over the world.

ARASH “JOEY” AMINI

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One of Malibu’s newest musical talents is the affable and supremely talented Arash “Joey” Amini, a cellist par excellence who moved here with his family last year. Trained at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with the renowned David Soyer and at The Julliard School, where he trained with Aldo Parisot, Amini describes his mentors as “the last two of the old school cellist masters.” Amini has performed as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician throughout America and internationally. The prestigious venues where he has played are too long to list. Want to be impressed? Check out www.joeyamini.com.  His favorite memory? Meeting American violinist Isaac Stern, whom he describes as “brilliant, with an incredible mind.” Amini is a substitute for the L.A. Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Opera. His roster is full. He’s always thrilled to play, and he’s thrilled to be in Malibu. “I find so much peace [in Malibu], which inspires me and I can concentrate here,” he said. “It is serene to live amidst the beautiful mountains and the ocean.” Amini is a fan of all types of music, ranging from classical, jazz, country, rock ‘n roll and blue grass. He is also a huge fan of two special people – his lovely wife, Eveline, and their three year-old daughter. Malibu Magazine loves Arash “Joey” Amini because he adds to the symphony of our community. 

Holly Bieler