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View Full Version : Talking Story w/ Kamaka, Friends and When Custom is really Custom.



BruddahMark
05-08-2008, 01:43 PM
Just thought I would share:

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend at the last minute, the Northern California Ukulele Festival. I was invited by my good braddahs from Kauai, Wiki-boy and maki-boy(aka Hawaiian Eye Designs). I jammed with some old friends like Dominator and met really cool new ones (some representing UU!). It was awesome, I finally was able see how this, the longest standing main land uke festival, was all about. Granted it was somewhat different from the Southern California Ukulele Festival in Cerritos that we modeled in running the Inaugural Chicagoland Ukulele Jam Festival last year. Nevertheless, it was a great festival with continous music and lots of pure aloha.

I was surprised to see my friend Asa Young of Kamaka there, as I got word that the band he is in, "Sideorder" with Bryan Tolentino was not performing. Asa of course, was at the Kamaka Ukulele Booth with Chris & Fred Kamaka including the newest up and coming Kamaka sponsered ukulele phenom Kalei along his father, Dereck. After the festival we and all the boyz from Kamaka met for dinner. We must of spent 3 1/2 hours at the restaurant eating, talking story everything from Koa supply, exotic woods, Jake's ukulele & equipment to Calei playing. It was awesome talking all things ukulele the whole night with the "god fathers of ukuleles". Asa was busting us all up with his consuming of food, desert and his and wiki-boyz jokes.

We all left the restaurant with some good mana and vowed to get together more often. The next morning before I had to catch my flight out, Wiki-boy whips out his newest ukulele that he and Chris had collaborated design ideas on. Apparently Chris had completely finished setting it up and brought it to the festival for him. The Kamaka Concert Ukulele had been 5 years in the design, fabricating and it showed. I have seen many custom ukuleles before but this one was just unbelievable. From the perfectly matched curly fire Koa, the custom designed pin bridge to the intricate abalone inlays and binding. It said Kamaka all over it and sounded pure nani nani Kamaka. It was perfectly set-up and ready to play. Wiki had Chris put Jakes - D'addarrio ej45s on it and the action was just right.
R u kidding me? Of course I played it. In fact I had a hard time just giving it back to wiki-boy. The sound was "there" and I cannot imagined how much sweeter it will sound when it has matured. I told Wiki-Boy, all she needs is to be is played now.

Unfortunately, I didn't get far out the door when wiki-boy sent his vicious attack dog "kiko" to pull me back in. hehe- I won't tell you what this ukulele is worth. but enjoy and yes weep...... or dream. Sup!


http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/markouke/dinnertable.jpg


http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/markouke/kamakakanaka.jpg
L to R Gary, Dereck, Kalei, Fred Kamaka, me, Chris Kamaka, Lorie, Wiki-Boy, Asa Young. not pictured Maki-Boy he is taking the photo,


http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/markouke/wikisconcert.jpg
The Concert.


http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/markouke/wikisconcert2.jpg

Kekani
05-08-2008, 02:18 PM
About time - haven't heard from you in a while. Making it back here anytime soon?

So - about the `uke:
Nice job with the fretboard binding.
Did they set up the laser for the inlay, or did Paul Bordeaux (or someone else) do it? I know Casey wanted to do his own inlay, and I'm sure Chris would do the same.
Is that rippling in the Headstock veneer, or just off shoot from the camera angle?

-Aaron

russ_buss
05-08-2008, 02:21 PM
cool photos BruddahMark. that uke is a beauty!

UKESTAR
05-08-2008, 02:26 PM
Luckeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

-Nap Dynamite

BruddahMark
05-08-2008, 03:13 PM
About time - haven't heard from you in a while. Making it back here anytime soon?

So - about the `uke:
Nice job with the fretboard binding.
Did they set up the laser for the inlay, or did Paul Bordeaux (or someone else) do it? I know Casey wanted to do his own inlay, and I'm sure Chris would do the same.
Is that rippling in the Headstock veneer, or just off shoot from the camera angle?

-Aaron

Cuz........ wassup. Long time too! How you is? Been back plenti but haven't been back to your side. Possible in July? although the airfares are horrendi now. Book NAMM early, you may have to swim? eh?

Re: Tech stuff on the ukulele? Gotta talk to wiki-boy on that. Although the headstock photo was definitely the angle.

_Russ Buss-
Thanks I wish it was mine. haha
Nice meeting you at Hayward. I might be back for the Aloha Festival in august. Keep ya posted my braddah.


Ukestar-
Me lucky? No, wiki is wiki wiki.... haha

drubin
05-08-2008, 04:19 PM
Great story and pics Bruddahmark! What a stunning uke! :D On the price scale, where does this special Kamaka fall?

BruddahMark
05-08-2008, 04:49 PM
Drubin:

Brah,

If I told you I would have to kill you. J/K. :)

All I can say is that it's definitely one of a kind Kamaka.
In the category of price: Professional quality, professionally set-up by the masters. It's a player.

It is one of those rare instruments that will hopefully be handed down from generation to generation. Kinda like a Patek Philippe.

deach
05-08-2008, 04:50 PM
Drubin:

.....
It is one of those rare instruments that will hopefully be handed down from generation to generation. Kinda like a Patek Philippe.

How do I get into that family?

BruddahMark
05-08-2008, 04:54 PM
How do I get into that family?

behind me, I'm first! LOL

drubin
05-08-2008, 05:16 PM
:rolleyes:;):D

I wanna get into that family too! ;)

russ_buss
05-08-2008, 05:50 PM
_Russ Buss-
Thanks I wish it was mine. haha
Nice meeting you at Hayward. I might be back for the Aloha Festival in august. Keep ya posted my braddah.



see you in august. cheers!

seeso
05-08-2008, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the story, Bruddah Mark. Thanks also for making me weep in a fetal position at the sight of that thing of pure, unadulterated beauty. Hmm... maybe not so much with the thanks, after all. :D

Howlin Hobbit
05-08-2008, 07:34 PM
That thing is a "knock you down and drag you out the door" beauty!

Man, I'd be willing to give up my soprano purity for it. :rolleyes:

(I do not have UAS. I do not have UAS. I do not have UAS!)

BruddahMark
05-09-2008, 11:52 AM
Thanks for the story, Bruddah Mark. Thanks also for making me weep in a fetal position at the sight of that thing of pure, unadulterated beauty. Hmm... maybe not so much with the thanks, after all. :D

Hey Seeso- wassup? yah we can all shoot for one these someday. haha

FYI: Where were you last year when we were looking for acts to play at The Inaugural Chicagoland Ukulele Jam Fest last year? Brah we could have showcased your talents for sure. You should hook-up & jam with my good friend Rob Bryd (aka Populele) of Chicago.

ok Brah, Keep it tight!
Bmark is out...


Howlin Hobbit
RE:That thing is a "knock you down and drag you out the door" beauty!
Man, I'd be willing to give up my soprano purity for it.

woa... that's huge!

seeso
05-09-2008, 12:32 PM
Hey Seeso- wassup? yah we can all shoot for one these someday. haha

FYI: Where were you last year when we were looking for acts to play at The Inaugural Chicagoland Ukulele Jam Fest last year? Brah we could have showcased your talents for sure. You should hook-up & jam with my good friend Rob Bryd (aka Populele) of Chicago.

I was here in Chicago, brother! I didn't even know about the fest. That's too bad, man. I would have loved to have made it out there. You gonna put another one up this year?

My friend George from Windy City Islanders is putting one on this year. I'll be playing at that one.

I've heard of Populele. I haven't had the chance to meet him yet.

Peace.

BruddahMark
05-09-2008, 12:56 PM
I was here in Chicago, brother! I didn't even know about the fest. That's too bad, man. I would have loved to have made it out there. You gonna put another one up this year?

My friend George from Windy City Islanders is putting one on this year. I'll be playing at that one.

I've heard of Populele. I haven't had the chance to meet him yet.

Peace.

Yah that's a bummer you missed it- We made the front page of the Chicago Tribune, Local tV new stations, article in the Chicago Times. It was fun but a ton of work. Thanks to lot of volunteers we pulled it off.
check it out:
http://www.myspace.com/chicagolandukulelejamfest

Anyway... Say hi to George. He played last year at the festival and is a great guy. Couldn't muster enough support for this year. Maybe next year.


I think Populele (Rob) is playing at George's. You nevah know I might fly over and hang out with Rob for the festival. Keep ya posted brah.

BruddahMark
05-09-2008, 01:06 PM
Ok - Received a few emails from ppls who wanted to see more of this ukulele. So I contacted wikiboy. He sent me some more uke porn.
I know, I know it hurts to see more of this ukulele. BUt when you have a body like this, I guess you have to just show it off. hehe!

Here you go:

Her front:
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/markouke/DSC00542.jpg

Her back
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/markouke/DSC00543.jpg

Her end
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/markouke/DSC00544.jpg

Her neck
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/markouke/DSC00541.jpg

Shootz. somebody gets all the fun.....haha

seeso
05-09-2008, 02:10 PM
It hurts, Bruddah Mark, it hurts!!

rayan
05-09-2008, 02:33 PM
damn the bookmatching on that baby is perfect!

GX9901
05-09-2008, 03:10 PM
BruddahMark, that's one awesome looking ukulele! But are those Schaller pegs I see on that thing? Don't people complain all the time on how hard they are to use? Or maybe these are super-special custom grade Schaller tuners that work better than geared ones???

david98116
05-09-2008, 03:39 PM
OMG I wanna touch that thing and play her horribly! I know I don't deserve the time of day with her but the average Joe can dream of his supermodel right? Wow! From the fire koa al the way to the mirrored ukuleles in the MOP inlay.....she's diamonds.