21st c. Luthiers from Hawaii click for more

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Photos Courtesy of Halemaumau Wilson
J. Kaohokalole Ki'ihele Tenor Ukulele
Ki'ihele Tenor
In being on the look out for nice Ukuleles I see the work of a number of full and part time luthiers. The instruments they make look very nice and worthy of note.

Halemaumau Wilson - Nakulu

Based in Waimanalo, Oahu, the brand was started in the late 1990's by Halemaumau's Father who had studied at Hana Lima ‘ia. In the early 2000's, also after learning with Hana Lima ‘ia Halemaumau joined the firm and it became his brand in 2006 with the passing of his father. He makes all sizes of Ukulele from Soprano to Baritone in all of the usual woods, plus certainly Lili'us. He only builds to order and doesn't do any builds on spec.

J. Kaohokalole - Ki'ihele

Very short of information here. The owner of the Ukulele pictured tells me that he is based on the Big Island and is a direct descendant of the last King of Hawaii. Other than that I can find nothing on the brand or the man so I can't confirm any of it?

Keith Ogata - ASD

Based in Salt Lake, O‘ahu, (and I don't see ASD being used outside of his own website?), he started his instrument making career in the late 1990's but is still not a full time luthier. As far as I can see all of his Ukuleles are Tenors and they are far from traditional in their design. He make solid body electric Ukuleles as well as acoustic ones but they all have his distinctive headstock and saddle/bridge setup, (well the older ones have a traditional type bridge but for some time now he has used the individual saddle design). The ‘オ’ on the headstock is the Japanese character for the phonetic sound ‘O’ as in Ogata.

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