Latin American Firms who don't sell Ukuleles but... click for more

2000 Rozini studio electro Acoustic Cavaco Cavaquinho Ukulele Corner
My Rozini Estudio
In the places that were once part of the old Iberian empires, particularly Latin America there are a number of local folk instruments that have a similar heritage and a close resemblance to the Ukulele. Instruments that have 4 strings, (or sometimes courses of strings), and are the same sort of size as the various Ukuleles; instruments like the Brazilian Cavaco, the Venezuelan Cuatro and the Colombian Tiple. Sometimes these instruments are suppose to be tuned completely differently to the Ukulele but given general ignorance of their real origin when they are seen in the northern continents they are usually tuned as played like and called Ukuleles. They are NOT, but I make a list here for reference

  • Arias Guitars - A firm based in Asunción, Paraguay that hand builds instruments, though the rosettes come from Argentina or Russia. They say they make Ukuleles as well as Guitars and Cavacos but I've never seen one
  • Austin - A low end Chinese Import (different logo to the Austin Ukuleles)
  • Cortez - Handmade in Brazil
  • Del Vecchio - Based in San Paulo, founded in 1903 by Italian immigrant Angelo Del Vecchio. The company is now run by his grandchildren who have changed the company name to Casa Del Vecchio
  • Di Georgio - Founded in San Paolo in 1908 by Italian Romeo Di Georgio, since the 1960's they have only made Guitars.
  • JB - Founded by João Batista, a San Paolo luthier, he worked for Giannini for 15 years before starting his own business. The Cavacos have a JB on the headstock and are often referred to as JB. He employs other luthiers too as I have seen other brands where the luthiers say they use to work for JB
  • Kashima - Low End, probably Chinese, may only come with nylon strings?
  • Malagoli - A San Paulo based pickup manufacturer founded in 2004 who have branded and sold solid body and more conventional electro-acoustic Cavaos though they no longer feature on the web site
  • Memphis - actually the own brand of Musicopolix a distributor from Madrid Spain, (they don't do own brand Ukuleles though)
  • Pheonix - aka PNX
  • Rama - Makes electric skeleton Cavaco's has some patents for them. They also make skeleton Guitars and Mandolins too
  • RMV - Founded in 1975, a big Brazilian Drum Manufacturer who have made Banjo Cavacos too
  • Roos - Small Brazilian maker from Venancio Aires
  • Rozini - I believe, Brazil's biggest manufacturer of fretted instruments. Founded in 1995 and at the time of their 15th anniversary claimed to be making 2500 instruments a month.
  • Strinberg - Widely available and quite budget, Possibly imported
  • Tagima - Founded in 1996 and based in San Paulo. the firm makes all sorts of instruments and I think is owned by an Importer/distributor called Marutec music. All of the Cavacos are in the Terra Brasil range (the also have a range of Guitars branded Memphis which i don't think is anything to do with the ones mentioned above?)
  • Tok's - I believe a big music shop and this is their own brand range made by someone else probably in China
  • Waldman - Large Brazilian distributor of all kinds of musical instrument and equipment from wind to keyboards and from Amps to stage lighting. The range does include Guitars and colourful Cavacos that along with their own name as they have the endorsement deal for a number of Brazilian football teams have their colours and branding on. I have seen an advert suggesting they distribute Ukuleles but I've not actually seen any.
  • Vogga - Founded 2008 in Belo Horizonte but I'm not sure if they are made there or its just an importer
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