Joe Souza Introduces New Kanile’a Ukuleles at the 2017 NAMM Show

By Greg Olwell

No tour of the NAMM show is complete without a stop at one of the most popular ukulele booths, Kanile’a. Not only do they have regular performances by some of the Oahu maker’s artists, the wall of sumptuous ukuleles is irresistible.

Kanile’a co-founder Joe Souza gave us a look at a few of the company’s newest additions to its substantial line.

The Kanile’a KCS (Kanile’a Crown Slotted) features a curly koa body; ebony fingerboard, bridge, and headplate; sand inlay; and Gotoh’s tiny, lightweight Stealth tuners. It’s available in soprano, concert, tenor, “super tenor,” and baritone.


Each year Joe comes up with a new model that’s exclusive to that year only. Kanile’a makes these “Platinum” models for one year only, then put the specs on the shelf, retiring the model. For 2017, Kanile’a’s 2017 Platinum model features a torrefied spruce top; Claro walnut back and sides (with a side soundport); curly koa binding and rosette; white MOP logo and position inlays. (Torrefaction is a process in which the soundboard is thermally cured in an oxygen-free environment to alter the cellular structure of the wood in a manner that replicates an aged tone.)