Hey, fellow uke player! Did you know 99.9% of visitors to this site will scroll past this message without making a contribution? Many plan to pledge later, but then forget. So we're asking you to give just $2 (or whatever you can afford) right now.

By Greg Olwell

For this week’s throwback Thursday, we want to take the opportunity to celebrate one of the most important ukulele makers ever.

This year marks the 100th anniversary since Samuel Kaialiilii Kamaka began building ukuleles in his one-man shop in Kaimuki, Hawaii. Sam K. Kamaka Sr., as he is remembered, went on to build a family-run company that is treasured today for its direct connection to the past and for the quality ukes it crafts from native koa. We can also give Sam Sr. credit for inventing the Pineapple, an iconic shape that remains a favorite of many players.


Of course, with such a big anniversary at hand, this won’t be the last time we mention this influential maker this year. Look for a feature celebrating Kamaka’s legacy in the Summer 2016 issue.

In the meantime, get a head start with this inside look at the company’s people, history, and instruments with this video history, originally presented by PBS. And, don’t forget to check out the Events page on Kamaka’s website for information on the company’s parties and celebrations.