Kamaka Tenor Ukuleles Back In Stock!
We just got a shipment of Kamaka HF-3 tenor ukuleles, the most popular Kamaka model here at Gryphon. Kamaka ukuleles are not only beautifully crafted, great sounding musical instruments, they are an integral part of the ukulele’s history. Samuel Kaialiilii Kamaka, the company’s founder, wasn’t present for the birth of the ukulele, but he was around while it was still in diapers. In 1910 Sam Kamaka apprenticed with Manuel Nunes, one of the three Portuguese luthiers who brought the the ukulele’s ancestors, the braguinha and machete, to Hawaii in 1879. Kamaka proved to be a quick study and in 1916 he left Nunes and started the company that bears his name.
From the beginning, Sam Kamaka’s instruments earned a reputation for high quality construction and exceptional tone, a tradition that has carried through to today. These days, Kamaka offers a full line of ukuleles, including soprano, concert, tenor and baritone sizes. Sam Kamaka retired in 1952 but his son Sam Jr. took over the business and his sons took over from him in turn. To this day, Kamaka is still a family owned company and we still get a small thrill when we call and get to speak to one of Sam Sr.’s relatives on the phone. In 2016, Kamaka celebrated its 100th anniversary of building ukuleles in Hawaii, a remarkable achievement for any company. We only have one complaint with Kamaka. They won’t compromise the quality of their ukuleles by rushing production or mass producing them so we can never get as many as we would like. But if it means that their ukes continue to sound as good as they do, we can live with that problem.