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.
Paul Petersen - Nahenahe
Based on Maui, he apprenticed under Steve Grimes before starting Nahenahe Hawaiian Ukuleles. This ran from 1993-2000 and was a brand known for the intricate inlay and some innovative sound hole shapes and placements. He gave up luthiery to become a full time musician and like a lot of "full time" musicians he is back on the tools now to augment his income repairing instrument and making new ones, (not sure if he still brands them Nahenahe now? and there was a website but its gone now). He makes all scales Of Ukulele from Sopranino to Baritone along with Lili'us and Taropatches and only does custom work
He has been making Ukuleles for over 25 years, he started out as a woodwork teacher on the mainland who also made Guitars as a hobby, then he moved to Maui. The Ukuleles come as Soprano, Concert or Tenor and are sometimes made distinctive by having an oval sound hole as a feature and sometimes a pierced headstock. He has wide distribution through shops in North America and Japan, so to service this he only makes on spec and is quite prolific.
Randall Wong - Ailani / R&L
His wife Lenda had a opened a shop called Ailani Ukuleles In Honolulu in 1995 and he made Ukuleles to sell in it, some were branded R&L and some Ailani, (I don't know thereason for the difference, there was a website but this is long dead). His instruments were noted for being all koa including the bridge and fretboard with a very natural finish. The shop in Honolulu has gone and I have not seen anything after 2009, (though there is now an Ailani Ukuleles shop on Kauai - there is also a Bass player from Honolulu called Randall Wong but I think this is a different person?)
Please contact me if you have any information or pictures that would improve the page
contact Web Administrator if you think your copyright has been infringed