21st c. Luthiers from Hawaii click for more
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.
Lahaina Music is a music shop in Lahaina, Maui, but as well as selling instrument they also make them. The Website is a bit of a mess so its not obvious but they appear to mainly make electric Guitars, however they do also, or have made, Ukuleles too and from what I can find out the main luthier is Billy Riley, (or was, I have read that he started out in 2001 but was out of business by 2005. I have also read that he started in the 1990's and was out of business before 2000? I believe the shop is still going though so maybe he just makes the occasional Concert - I have only seen Concerts - Ukulele?). I don't have anything beyond this however?
Charlie Fukuba - I'iwi
I'Iwi is a small Hawaiian bird, hence the bird on the headstock and on the Logo. Based in Makakilo, Oahu, he makes Sopranos, Concerts and Tenors. The ranges are sometime branded Gold, (for the best), and Silver, (for the lesser) series by some of the resellers and he does seem very prolific for just one man, however I think he builds everything on spec and doesn't do custom work?
From the Big Island, Hawaii, and widely regarded as one of the best Ukulele Luthiers in Hawaii if not the world. He Is largely self taught and started out in the mid 1980's making coconut bodied coco-leles. From this he moved onto the more traditional models and shortly after 2000 he became a full time Ukulele maker who makes, usually Tenor but occasionally Soprano Ukuleles. The Ukuleles are usually made of koa, sometimes quite adventurous in their design and are often notable for the inlay work especially on the headstock.
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