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Thread: Something new- well Almost -- from Alvin Okami

  1. #1
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    Sewell, NJ (suburb of Philadelphia, Pa)
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    Default Something new- well Almost -- from Alvin Okami

    Many of you know that I am friends with Alvin Okami, founder of KoAloha ukulele, and it is a great time to be his friend as Alvin is in the midst of a personal renaissance experience. Now that KoAloha is doing well and a major ukulele brand, Alvin has the time to work on new projects and building his new company, Ukulele Specialties of America (Uke SA). It is a time for him to create new forms and new ukes, along with a number of variations on old favorites. He is totally redoing his Wow and Star Spangled Banger, along with a new soprano called the AO, a spinoff on the Hawaiian word "AO" meaning "new beginning" and his initials, "Alvin Okami."

    A few months ago, Alvin told me of a variation on the Pineapple Sunday that he was working on. He sent me a number of prototypes to try and all were wonderful. He swore me to secrecy but has told me that he is now almost ready to launch the new version. I asked him if I could tell people about it and he gave me the okay, and also the permission to sell the prototypes he sent me, at a significant discount, should I decide to do so.

    The basic design of this new Pineapple Sunday is derived from Pops original Pineapple Sunday that was introduced about 15 years ago.
    This original design came with a fully debossed grid that mimicked the natural grid on a real pineapple. It became the most popular design and orders became too much for Pops alone to accommodate so the decision was made to retire production indefinitely.

    However, now that Pops is able to just concentrate on his new UkeSA brand, he has revised the Pineapple Sunday. The new approach utilizing the same body shape of the original but having an incredibly gifted artist paint the face with artwork is a unique approach to re-introduce the Pineapple Sunday with a totally new look.

    This new concept PIneapple Sunday is being showcased individually as Pops and his artist collaborates to create masterpieces of art fused with a masterpiece ukulele called "Pops, One of A Kind Pineapple Sunday". A befitting phrase that would capture the essence of this collaborative work is "A Masterpiece of Musart". Each and every uke in this series is "one of a Kind" built by Pops, himself, and will most definitely be a collector's item.

    Beneath the painted face lies the best tonewood in the world. Namely, Engelman Spruce. The sides are select koa wood The back is also select koa wood with an emphasis on beautifully figured grain that stands out all by itself.

    The fretboard is ebony with fret markers that replace paua abalone dots. The markers are now called "fret bands". The fret band wood is zebra wood and adds a tasteful, classy, elegant and original approach to standard pearl/abalone dots found on the majority of ukulele fretboards.

    The headstock has been modified from the KoAloha Crown profile to represent the leaves of the pineapple. The KoAloha logo has also been abandoned in favor of a colored miniature pineapple affixed on the center of the headstock.

    The tuners are Grover (Black Nickel) Geared tuners.

    These "one of Kind Pineapple Sundays" will differ from the Acacia UkeSA models made in Thailand in that each of these are made exclusively by Pops in Hawaii using select Koa.

    This uke is a beauty to look at, as well as play.

    Take a look at the prototypes that Pops sent me and let me know your thoughts.

    IMG_0133.jpgIMG_0178.jpgIMG_0180.jpg
    Last edited by efiscella; 12-13-2019 at 05:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Those are gorgeous! I love what he keeps doing with these

  3. #3
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    May 2015
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    London
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    edit - actually, never mind.

    unsubscribe
    Last edited by Counter; 12-14-2019 at 12:14 AM.
    Kamaka HF-3DC - Kamaka HF-2LD - Kanile'a Custom 5 string Super Tenor - KoAloha Special Issue Tenor - Pono MGTP5-PC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    Certainly eye-catching. I look forward to their release.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    Striking, for sure! Way out of my league I'm also sure.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, A, EJ45LP

    !Flukutronic!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    204

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    Art + Ukes...

    TAKE
    MY
    MONEY

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,138

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    Very unique for sure. I’m sure they will sound as good as they look. On the group picture, second Uke from left, the one without the pineapple body shape, more teardrop! What is going on on top upper bout? Looks different. All look outstanding. Can’t wait to see what price turns out to be. Keep us posted if you sell prototypes. Collector items for sure!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Sewell, NJ (suburb of Philadelphia, Pa)
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    Here is what Alvin Tells me about the Artist:

    Ed,
    The artist is a Vietnamese national who emigrated to the U.S. a number of years ago. Get ready because his story is 100% true and authentic and pretty much unbelievable. This person has been in front of a firing squad over three times and still is alive and well. He suffered under the communist regime only because of what he believed. They thought that he was some kind of instigator that wanted to upset the government and stir up trouble so he was constantly harassed and imprisoned many times. He played a vital role during the era that was known worldwide as the Vietnamese Boat People.

    These poor innocent Vietnamese were trying to escape the tyranny by escaping on whatever boats they could escape in and this artist was responsible for saving the lives of more than 435 of his people. He took an abandoned ship and loaded 435 people in the lower cargo area of the ship and stood on the top deck with a makeshift officer's uniform and approached a check point with a guard standing and waiting for the ship to draw close. The guard shouted to him and asked what was the password. Of course, he had no idea but shouted at the guard telling him that he had the nerve to ask for the password when he should know better. The guard was so frightened that he apologized and let the ship through
    the checkpoint.

    This Vietnamese young man's father was a preacher and when he had heard what his son had done, he decided to change his Vietnamese first name to Moses Cao because this situation reminded the father of Moses leading his people out of bondage from the land of Egypt. So from this episode, the artist's name became Moses Cao. He is also jokingly referred to nowadays as Holy Cao (Holy Cow).

    The story is just the tip of the iceberg regarding Moses's life story. I hope one day I can either relate more incredible
    stories that he has told us or if the fates allow, you get the chance to meet this unforgettable individual.

    I hope this gives you an idea of the artist that I am honored to collaborate with and have his artwork adorn the face of my one of a kind PIneapple Sundays.

    Al
    Last edited by efiscella; 12-14-2019 at 05:20 AM.

  9. #9

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    Gorgeous! It looks like HMS has one similar to the one on the left for sale.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2011
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    Sewell, NJ (suburb of Philadelphia, Pa)
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    The one that HMS has for sale is Alvin's original, personal ukulele. It is Pyrography from a different artist- not painted. I will need to check with Alvin on the one pictured. I actually don't believe it is part of this "one of a Kind Pineapple Sunday" lineups. It actually has the KoAloha logo on the headstock telling me that it is not the same. Alvin sent me the two orange Hibiscus Prototypes. I will need to ask him about the others.

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