Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jake Shimabukuro's 95 Custom Kamaka

A few days ago at Ukulele Puapua in the Sheraton Waikiki, we had a special visitor stop by the store. Jake Shimabukuro came in to say hello and go to lunch with Bruce! He was carrying a vintage looking case with him, and everyone wanted to know what was in the case. It was a ukulele that he had comissioned from Kamaka Hawaii in 94 and received in 95. Built under the Samuel Kamaka Luthier custom label, it was actually fabricated by Casey Kamaka. This rare instrument is in between the sizes of a soprano and a concert. Sort of a long necked standard that was ahead of it's time. It is built in the classic Sam Kamaka custom style. Bell shaped body with flat bottom, flared lower bouts, and squared narrow shoulders on the upper bouts. This ukulele boasts curly koa back and sides, with a finely graduated spruce top. Rosewood binding on the front and the back of the body. B/W/B wood purfling on the soundboard, and on either side of the rosewood rosette. Rosewood bottom strip and heel cap. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. Solid 5A koa neck with dark koa stringer. Schaller sidegear tuners. M.O.P. front and side position markers. This ukulele appears to have been originally set up for an active pickup with a metal 9V battery housing built into the neck block, but at some point was retrofitted with a passive or hybrid pickup. This ukulele is in excellent condition for being 15 years old.
Thank you to Jake for allowing me to post his ukulele on this blog, and for coming to visit us at the store! Mahalo.

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