Learning Ukulele with Curt

25 - Ukulele Builders, Luthiers and Manufactures: K

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Ko`olau Guitar and Ukulele Company

Koolau

Links

Listing Info

from the Ko`olau Guitar and Ukulele Company web site

Ko'olau Guitars and 'Ukuleles are professional quality, hand crafted instruments. The shop is located in Kaneohe, on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, approximately fifteen minutes from Honolulu, at the foot of the the beautiful Ko'olau Mountains.

For many years Ko'olau Guitar and Ukulele has been building some of the finest quality ukes money can buy, allowing the customer to pick from many woods and decorative options. The company was founded and is still run by John Kitakis, whose career began as a furniture maker. He moved from the mainland US to Hawaii forty years ago, then for a period of time went back to the mainland doing warranty repair work for Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Guild and other guitar manufacturers, and in between built custom guitars and mandolins. Eventually he, his wife and children returned to Oahu to begin Ko'olau Guitar & Ukulele Company. All of John's children worked in the family business, from sorting screws to sweeping floors. His oldest son, Noa eventually chose to pursue stringed instrument making, and now manages all Ko'olau production. His youngest son, Andrew also joined the family doing repairs and assisting in Ko'olau construction and finishing, but eventually established his own retail guitar and 'ukulele business.

In the mid 90's John, Noa, and Andrew moved back to Hawaii and started Ko'olau Guitar and Ukulele. They had already repaired and refinished thousands of high end stringed instruments. And on a custom basis, built acoustic guitars. They knew what works, and now was the time to change the entire scene of `ukulele making. High end 'ukuleles, up to the early 90's were unknown, still not appreciated as a professional stringed instrument.

But the performers were there, and Ko'olau soon became known as the 'high' end ukulele. Finally the ukulele was respected, not as just a fun 'toy' but instead earning it's place in the world of professional music. Early on, the real 'old timers' like Lyle Ritz, Benny Chong, Led Kaapana, Ned Kaapana, Ernie Cruz, Chino Montero, Kimo Hussey, Mike Keale, Roy Sakuma, and Tracey Terada bought Kola's and were exposing others to the quality coming from the foothills of the Ko'olau mountains. In time the new and upcoming `ukulele masters, such as Abe Lagrimas, Craig Brandau, and Paul Hemmings discovered Ko'olau. And so, the beginning of a legend.

More information available on the Ko`olau Guitar and Ukulele Company's web site.

Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing below.

Luthier / Company Associations

Kaka'ako Instruments

KakaakoInstruments

Links

Listing Info

from the Kaka'ako Instruments web site

The inspiration came from the Hawaiian Lap Steel. The bluesy, sweet melodious sound that can only be felt here in Hawai'i. We started building Authentic Hawaiian Lap Steel's & Ukulele's right here in Kaka'ako (Honolulu) and we are now part of a greater movement to bring forth the acoustic square neck design that requires no electricity or amp. Otherwise known as a Weissenborn Style guitar, it is an instrument that becomes so inspiring and personal, you will never let it go. Just like the Ukulele, you will find the same satisfaction, with an unlimited amount of potential.

We now offer high quality handcrafted instruments at an affordable cost. All instruments are specially designed & handled by the company's own Luthier's Mark Iseman and Matthew Nigro, also owner's of Iseman Guitars and Instruments in Honolulu.

All instruments are assembled overseas by our master luthiers. They are then shipped to our shop in Honolulu where we finish the process. Your Ukulele and Lap Steel guitar will be fully set up, intonated, fret filed and specially handled by us. You will get a professional sounding instrument and a beautifully handcrafted instrument that will captivate any audience.

More information available on the Kaka'ako Instruments's web site.

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Kala Brand Music Company

Kala

Links

Listing Info

from the Kala Brand Music Company web site

Mike Upton is the founder of Kala Brand Music Co. in northern California. Established in 2005, Kala builds 140-plus models of ukulele, including travel and bass variations.Kala and Makala brand of ukuleles.

Travel about 30 miles north of San Francisco along the historic 101, past the city’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and you will cross the Sonoma County line and start to see a lot of...well, cows.

We are Kala Brand Music Co. and we are from Petaluma, CA. Our hometown is nestled in the Sonoma wine country and a harbor to an eclectic mix of artists, farmers, breweries and tech companies. We are a community deeply rooted in creativity and culture, spread across the many platforms and mediums of art, food, dairy and music.

Our character stems from our hometown drawing influence from Petaluma’s turn of the century downtown, its Gold Rush history and the modern meets historical vibe. We know it isn’t Hawaii, the birthplace of the ukulele, but it’s the birthplace of our ukulele, the handmade Kala Elite Koa ukulele.

We are proud to introduce the Kala Elite Series to ukulele players across the United States and beyond. Our Elite models mark a new standard, much the same as the original U-Bass did in 2007. In collaboration with Owen Holt, we turned the bass world on its ear with our revolutionary short scale bass. In 2016, we are excited to witness the Elite Series impact within the ukulele community.

In the past year, we opened a location in Ashland, VA, giving us a presence in Hawaii, California and Virginia. As the ukulele’s popularity continues to surge across the globe, these three locations will help us serve our customers and meet the demand for quality instruments at an affordable price.

Hawaiian Definitions of KALA

  • v. To forgive, a prayer to free someone from any evil influence.
  • nvs. Dollar, silver, money, cash, currency.
  • n. Surgeonfish, Unicorn fish
  • (Ono) Brand of Ukulele!!!

More information available on the Kala Brand Music Company's web site.

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Kamaka Ukuleles

KamakaUkuleles

Links

Listing Info

from the Kamaka Ukuleles web site

Since 1916, Kamaka Hawaii, Inc. has prided itself on producing only ukuleles of the finest quality -- durable, exquisite instruments that improve with age. Like the ukuleles, the company itself continues to withstand the test of time. The company's longevity shows its commitment to both customer and employee alike, and reflects other important values as well.

The producers of a documentary entitled"Heart Strings: The Story of the Kamaka `Ukulele", describes the Kamaka history this way: "Theirs is a story of hard work, fortitude, honesty and creativity as seen through a distinctly Hawaiian point of view, rooted in such concepts as Aloha (unconditional love), Malama (to serve and care for), and Pono (doing what's right)."

More information available on the Kamaka Ukuleles's web site.

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Kamoa Ukulele

KamoaUkulele

Links

Listing Info

from the Kamoa Ukulele web site

Kamoa™ Ukulele Company is dedicated to building high quality bell tone instruments. Our “One player at a time” philosophy is the basis for the countless experiences that will resonate with you for years to come through the lifelong enjoyment of music on your Kamoa™ ukulele. From Exceptional student models priced around $100 up to divine custom masterpieces, we have a tailored Kamoa™ experience ready for you whether you are a true beginner or ukulele master.

Kamoa ukuleles are being played by Directors of Opera and Philharmonic Orchestras, Concert Violinists, Pianists, Flutists, the Grammy® Recording Academy, Hollywood Filmmakers, Former Heads of State, and many thousands of satisfied musicians from Punk to Polka, Appalachian Bluegrass to Gypsy Jazz. We have customers in over 20 countries and welcome you to our Global Ukulele O’hana.

More information available on the Kamoa Ukulele's web site.

Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing below.

Kanilea Ukulele

KanileaUkulele

Links

Listing Info

from the Kanilea Ukulele web site

We specialize in standard to professional grade musical instruments. Each ukulele is finely hand crafted using the highest grade, well-seasoned wood and scaled to produce a perfect intonation. These instruments are meticulously built by skilled craftsmen, under the guidance of Master Luthier, Joseph Souza. Our state of the art, humidity controlled facilities in Kaneohe, Hawaii allows Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele balance “Traditions and Technologies”. Every ‘ukulele comes with a 100% customer satisfaction, money back guarantee and our industry leading limited lifetime warranty.

Joe and Kristen were both born and raised in Kailua on the island of O‘ahu. Joe is the youngest of eight, and Kristen is an only child. Kristen’s background is in customer sales and accounting. For Joe, the ‘ukulele has always been part of his life. He can recall, from a very young age, going to family parties and everyone sitting in a circle and jamming Hawaiian music on their ‘ukuleles and guitars. ”In elementary school is when I first got exposed to the ‘ukulele. It was a requirement for music. Hawaiian language class in High school is when I really started showing serious interest in the ‘ukulele, although, it wasn’t until after I graduated that the ‘ukulele started to influence my life.”

More information available on the Kanilea Ukulele's web site.

Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing below.

Kapono Ukulele Company

KaponoUkuleleCompany

Links

Listing Info

from the Kapono Ukulele Company web site

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Kaua`wela Ukulele Company

KauwelaUkuleleCompany

Links

Listing Info

from the Kaua`wela Ukulele Company web site

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Ukuleles By Kawika, Inc.

Kawika

Links

Listing Info

from the Ukuleles By Kawika, Inc. web site

David Hurd, who majored in chemistry, became an oceanographer in part on a whim. His senior year, he saw his first surf movie — Bruce Brown’s Surfing Hollow Days — in McGregory, he recalls. Then he saw an ad for the brand-new department of oceanography at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. Still sniffling from his umpteenth bout with the flu and nasty colds, he thought, “There is a better life. Aloha to Chenango Valley.

<hr>

Please note that David Hurd have retired from active ukulele making and are no longer taking orders or doing repairs. David&#8217;s web site is a wealth of ukulele information.

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Kay Guitar

KayGuitar

Links

Listing Info

from the Kay Guitar web site

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Ukulele's of Kealia Enterprises

KealiaEnterprises

Links

Listing Info

from the Ukulele's of Kealia Enterprises web site

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Keilani by Kelii

KeilanibyKelii

Links

Listing Info

from the Keilani by Kelii web site

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Keokia's Custom Ukulele's

Keoki

Links

  • No Web Presence

Listing Info

from the Keokia's Custom Ukulele's web site

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Kepasa Ukulele

KepasaUkulele

Links

Listing Info

from the Kepasa Ukulele web site

Kepasa Ukuleles are custom made by Kevin Crossett in Middlesex, VT. Kepasa Ukuleles are available in soprano, concert and tenor models, many of which are inspired by vintage ukuleles such as the LeDomino, Hollywood, Vita, and other makes and models from the mainland yesteryear. The Kepasa Madeira is influenced by the Dias style soprano, and the Kepasa Gypsy Rose is influenced by the early Selmer-Maccaferri gypsy guitars. All models are optionally available with the Mi-Si Acoustic Trio pickup system, as well as other pickup options. Kevin is also the owner of The&nbsp;GuitarSam&nbsp;<a href="http://www.guitarsam.com" target="_blank">music store</a>&nbsp;in Montpelier, Vermont

Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing below.

Kimo Ukulele

KimoUkulele

Links

Listing Info

from the Kimo Ukulele web site

My second home, Maui, and many years in ocean sports both on the mainland and the Islands naturally led me to the beauty of the Polynesian culture including slack-key guitar and ukulele.

I have always enjoyed designing and building for my personal use&ndash;the guitar and ukulele being no exception. In 1999, I made the decision to initiate this process and was fortunate to enlist the help of master luthier John Greven. I was thrilled with the instruments I was able to make and intrigued with the process of construction and the design possibilities. Now, over 10 years later, I still find the journey far from complete since the variables seem limitless.

More information available on the Kimo Ukulele's web site.

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Michael J. King

KingMichaelJ

Links

Listing Info

from the Michael J. King web site

Michael J King’s Modern MJK Soprano ukuleles instruments are inspired by the Martin 3/5K models of the 1930’s, though with less inlay on the fingerboard(just abalone side markers) and Maple bindings rather than plastics.

  • 1994: Art and Design Diploma (distinction) Waltham Forest College London
  • 1997: I graduated with a 2.1 with honors in Fine Art Sculpture from the now University of Gloucestershire
  • 2000-2002 City and Guilds level 1&2 Fine Furniture and cabinetmaking
  • 2002- present,  Self employed Luthier

( Curt. I've ordered Michael's ukulele plans an can definitely recommend them. Even if you don't build a uke. )

More information available on the Michael J. King's web site.

Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing below.

John S. Kinnard Ukuleles

KinnardUkes

Links

Listing Info

from the John S. Kinnard Ukuleles web site

Nestled in the foothills of northern San Diego County, just inland from the coast, sits the small village of Fallbrook, California. Known for its mild climate and laid back lifestyle, artisans of different genres cultivate their craft inspired by the beauty of the valleys and mountains that surround the town.

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Kiwaya Ukuleles

KiwayaUkuleles

Links

Listing Info

from the Kiwaya Ukuleles web site

On November 1, 2011, Kiwaya USA changed its name to Takumi Ukulele Company. As Takumi Ukulele Company continues to build a strong company to supply and service our customers around the world, we feel it is important to present a clear consistent image and direction.

Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing below.

Ko Aloha Ukulele

KoAlohaUkulele

Links

Listing Info

from the Ko Aloha Ukulele web site

KoAloha is proud to be regarded and recognized as one of the premier ukulele builders in Hawaii. Founder, Alvin S. Okami, has been called by many a modern day &ldquo;Renaissance Man.&rdquo; He is an inventor, an innovator, a composer/arranger, a singer, an accomplished oboist, an industrial designer, graphic designer, and overall brilliant conceptual and spontaneous idea man.

His musical background has provided him with all the necessary experiences to enable him to design and create an ukulele of unsurpassed quality. From the very beginning, he has been obsessed with the pursuit of producing the finest ukulele available in the market today. As a musician and craftsman, he would accept nothing less than handcrafting the most beautiful and best sounding instrument.

More information available on the Ko Aloha Ukulele's web site.

Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing below.

Koll Guitar Company

KollGuitarCompany

Links

Listing Info

from the Koll Guitar Company web site

Saul Koll grew up in southern California just north of Los Angeles in a town called Newhall. He always had an interest in how things were made and what made things work. While other kids were playing sports, Saul was in the garage taking expensive toys apart and gluing the components into new weird new contraptions. At 12 he started to play the guitar and his compulsive tendencies were then directed to learning the instrument. It was about this time that he found a book on guitar making at the library in Redondo Beach. It was Classic Guitar Construction by Irving Sloan. One of the earliest writings on the subject and as it turns out eventually very influential.(Notice how even at the beach, Saul was at the library!) Saul found the book intriguing but beyond his skills at age 12. He continued his guitar studies and school and all the usual teenage stuff.

#####A Koll Ukulele##### <div class="img-center"><img class="bmm" src="//curtsheller.com/csp/app/assets/images/gtr_images/Koll_Uke.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="116" /></div> Saul studied art at San Diego State University and got his Bachelors degree there. He continued his “contraption” making but it was under the guise of sculpture. It was there at the library where Saul found Sloan’s book again. Meanwhile he continued to practice the guitar. Saul played in the highschool jazz ensemble as well as a few rock bands. In 1984 he coformed The Charms, a highly regarded pop rock outfit. Very successful artistically, a profound failure commercially. Nevertheless the band recorded several full -length records, many singles and was featured on a few compilations. The Charms toured a bit as well. The Charms had their last shows in 1995, the same year as the birth of Saul’s first child.

More information available on the Koll Guitar Company's web site.

Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing below.

Ko`olau Guitar and Ukulele Company

Koolau

Links

Listing Info

from the Ko`olau Guitar and Ukulele Company web site

Ko'olau Guitars and 'Ukuleles are professional quality, hand crafted instruments. The shop is located in Kaneohe, on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, approximately fifteen minutes from Honolulu, at the foot of the the beautiful Ko'olau Mountains.

For many years Ko'olau Guitar and Ukulele has been building some of the finest quality ukes money can buy, allowing the customer to pick from many woods and decorative options. The company was founded and is still run by John Kitakis, whose career began as a furniture maker. He moved from the mainland US to Hawaii forty years ago, then for a period of time went back to the mainland doing warranty repair work for Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Guild and other guitar manufacturers, and in between built custom guitars and mandolins. Eventually he, his wife and children returned to Oahu to begin Ko'olau Guitar & Ukulele Company. All of John's children worked in the family business, from sorting screws to sweeping floors. His oldest son, Noa eventually chose to pursue stringed instrument making, and now manages all Ko'olau production. His youngest son, Andrew also joined the family doing repairs and assisting in Ko'olau construction and finishing, but eventually established his own retail guitar and 'ukulele business.

In the mid 90's John, Noa, and Andrew moved back to Hawaii and started Ko'olau Guitar and Ukulele. They had already repaired and refinished thousands of high end stringed instruments. And on a custom basis, built acoustic guitars. They knew what works, and now was the time to change the entire scene of `ukulele making. High end 'ukuleles, up to the early 90's were unknown, still not appreciated as a professional stringed instrument.

But the performers were there, and Ko'olau soon became known as the 'high' end ukulele. Finally the ukulele was respected, not as just a fun 'toy' but instead earning it's place in the world of professional music. Early on, the real 'old timers' like Lyle Ritz, Benny Chong, Led Kaapana, Ned Kaapana, Ernie Cruz, Chino Montero, Kimo Hussey, Mike Keale, Roy Sakuma, and Tracey Terada bought Kola's and were exposing others to the quality coming from the foothills of the Ko'olau mountains. In time the new and upcoming `ukulele masters, such as Abe Lagrimas, Craig Brandau, and Paul Hemmings discovered Ko'olau. And so, the beginning of a legend.

More information available on the Ko`olau Guitar and Ukulele Company's web site.

Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing below.

Andreas Kapkes

KopkeAndreas

Links

Listing Info

from the Andreas Kapkes web site

Whatever You’d like to ask for - perhaps a jazz-mandola, bouzoukis, speciality guitars small or big, A or F mandolins, tenor guitars, ukuleles, a mando-uke, banjos, electric guitars and mandolins, carved tops and backs, fancy woods, custom inlays, french polish... whatever you’ve seen in the books or heard of... don’t hesitate to ask for your own special instrument. There will be a way to make your dream come true at a reasonable price!

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KP Ukuleles

KPUkuleles

Links

Listing Info

from the KP Ukuleles web site

Ken Potts has a DVD Building the Hawaiian Ukulele...

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Orpheus Valley Guitars and Kremona Studio

Kremona

Links

Listing Info

from the Orpheus Valley Guitars and Kremona Studio web site

Orpheus Valley Guitars and Kremona Studio violins are the product of Bulgaria&rsquo;s venerable Kremona lutherie, established in 1924. Enjoying continued success in many parts of the world, Kremona now offers their traditional European craftsmanship to North America. Recognized for superb build quality and solution-oriented pricing, Kremona musical instruments remain one of the industry&rsquo;s astonishing values.

#####Ukulele Pickup##### <img class="top" src="//curtsheller.com/ukulele/amplifying_your_ukulele/images/Kremona/ukulele-pickup.png" alt="Uke Pickup" width="100" height="48" />Natural, detachable passive piezo pickup solution for ukulele. Encased in lightweight tone wood, UK-1 ensures natural sounding amplification of your ukulele without modification to the instrument. Utilizing the tension of tuned strings, UK-1 installs safely and securely on the tie bar of most ukuleles. UK-1 comes complete with a detachable, easily replaceable cable. When not in use, UK-1 may be left in place with no detriment to the instrument&rsquo;s acoustic sound.

More information available on the Orpheus Valley Guitars and Kremona Studio's web site.

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Koki'o Ukulele

KokiUkulele

Links

Listing Info

from the Koki'o Ukulele web site

koki’o is the brand-new Asian series of the German quality manufacturer RISA Musical Instruments. RISA has been number one for electric Ukuleles worldwide for more than 10 years. We consequently follow our target to offer high quality instruments for a reasonable price with this new series of acoustic Ukuleles. The specification contains product features which are unknown for Ukuleles in this price range. Even the reasonable colored entry series features many highlights for a low price:

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Klos Guitars

KlosGuitars

Links

Listing Info

from the Klos Guitars web site

KLOS Guitars was born as an answer to the question of why are carbon fiber guitars so expensive. Hand crafted with extreme precision in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, our guitars blend the practical with the elegant. We keep the neck out of mahogany and blackwood so that your fingers have a familiar feel while making the body and soundboard out of durable carbon fiber. This hybrid wood and carbon fiber approach lets us keep the price well under $1000 for our acoustic model, while still producing a compact, durable, and great sounding travel guitar. Our #keepitKLOS philosophy is that music is meant to always be around us, so grab your guitar and take it with you everywhere you go!

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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

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LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, Luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. Curt has been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

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