FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2017:
Two Legendary Trees, Six World-Class Instrument Builders, Lots of Children Harnessing the Healing Power of Music
Top Builders to Craft Instruments from One-of-a-Kind Trees to Benefit Children’s Music Therapy Programs
LOS ANGELES, CA - Six of the world’s most distinguished instrument builders have come together to showcase their unique building approaches and to make a lasting difference in the lives of sick children. Each luthier will build a tenor ukulele out of wood sourced from two trees that are legendary among acoustic guitar and ukulele enthusiasts. All of the proceeds from the sale of the instruments will go to benefit The Ukulele Kids Club, a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to harness the healing power of music by sending hospitalized children home with the gift of music for life.
The backs and sides of the ukuleles will be built from The Tree, an almost mythical 100-foot tall Honduran mahogany tree that landed in a ravine when it was felled in 1965. Even after being cut in half, the giant was impossible to move and laid stuck in the ravine for 18 years. Scientists don’t know why, but the figuring in this particular tree is so unique that another like it has never been found. In addition to its rare beauty, The Tree is lauded for its acoustic properties. To many of the top-notch builders who have used the wood, they say it sounds more like Brazilian rosewood, which is for many the benchmark in acoustic guitar and ukulele tone.
The tops will be made of Lucky Strike redwood, a particular redwood tree that fell during a storm and was discovered in the early 1990’s. Part of the fallen tree straddled a ravine, which allowed it to air dry naturally for many years. Known for its exceptional stiffness-to-weight ratio and its straight, even grain with considerable cross-grain silk, Lucky Strike redwood delivers a unique sound that carries the warmth of redwood but also the clarity of spruce.
To see either of these woods in any one instrument is extremely rare. To see and hear six instruments with both woods built by some of the most highly respected luthiers in the business has never been done. The distinguished luthiers who will turn these storied woods into beautiful looking and sounding instruments include:
“I’m very honored that such talented luthiers are excited to demonstrate how they each uniquely approach virtually identical, storied wood sets,” said project founder Eddie Monnier. “It will be a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the nuances of six different world class voicings and unique aesthetic styles. Their selfless contributions will create significant benefit for The Ukulele Kids Club, which puts music in the hands of kids enduring very serious medical situations.”
The Ukulele Kids Club founder Corey Bergman added, “We are excited to be selected as the charitable cause by these esteemed luthiers who recognize the healing power of music therapy and the positive benefits of gifting music for life. Project proceeds will help us achieve our goal of gifting 10,000 ukuleles to hospitalized children by the end of 2018.”
Follow project developments and learn more about The Ukulele Kids Club at the Luthiers for a Cause website (www.luthiersforacause.org). You can also visit the Ukulele Kids Club at www.theukc.org.
Contacts: Eddie Monnier (email@example.com) | Patchen Uchiyama (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Below is a link to a recent article in the San Diego Union/Tribune about our participation in this project- (Cut and paste into your browser)
We had the honor of being invited to display at the 2015 'Ukulele Guild of Hawaii', builders show on Nov 21 and 22. It was an amazing experience to meet all the fine folks from the guild and see the wonderful builds that the members displayed. Kimo Hussey and Manny Halican, the president of the club, put on a first class event and we had a blast.
It was really fun to meet the other builders-from folks that have only been building a couple of years to the creme de la creme of the uke building community. Eric Devine, Rollo Scheurenbrand, Steve Grimes and Chuck Moore were all in attendance and we had the chance to talk shop and check out each others builds.
Saturday night a banquet was held and Kalei Gamiao along with Kimo played about 10 different ukes as part of the entertainment. While it was awesome to hear Kalei play our new "Luthier's Reserve" model it was even more awesome to see the look on one of the young guild member's face when Kalei played the fourth uke he had ever built- that was a highlight for me.
We had the pleasure of having Michael and Ann Watts of Anchorage, Alaska stop by the shop today for a visit. I first met Mike and Ann at the Reno Uke Festival in 2014 when they stopped by the booth to check out John's work. Needless to say they liked what they saw and took home a beautiful East Indian Rosewood Tenor with a Cedar top. They brought it with them to show us and it has matured and opened up wonderfully- Loud and very sweet tone.....
Thanks for the visit Mike and Ann and we look forward to a couple of very special custom builds to be delivered in 2016! Thanks for the support!
KinnardUkes is excited to be part of this amazing project....
Reno 2015 was a great event and we had the opportunity to show off our tenors and baritone ukes. We had the pleasure of meeting Michael Powers along with Moe Dixon of Mya-Moe. Great guys and amazing musicians- Doug and Mindy Reynolds put on a really nice event and we look forward to next years Reno festival.
March 15/16, 2015
Kimo Hussey and Zanuck Lindsey Visit and Workshop/Concert
We had the pleasure of hosting Kimo Hussey and Zanuck Lindsey for a workshop and concert sponsored by KinnardUkes the weekend of March 15th. We were also excited about delivering the Kīkū which was used in concert. Kimo and Zanucks response regarding the new instrument was tremendous and they were very taken with the looks, sound and playability. Thank you Kimo and Zanuck for a great workshop and concert and for a wonderful weekend of laughs, fun and music....
Palm Springs Uke Festival 2015
Feb 7, 2015
KinnardUkes displayed at the first ever Palm Springs Uke Festival and showed off the new Tenor/Tenor combo along with a new soprano, a baritone, a couple of tenors and a Kinnard mandolinetto. John joined us on Saturday and had the chance to meet some current Kinnard owners and some "soon to be" Kinnard owners. Good crowd and fun group of people jamming around us- Victoria Vox came by and sang one of her original songs on the Padauk/Sitka tenor and man did she sound great!
Steve Clemens from Santa Barbara became a KinnardUkes family member this weekend- congratulations Steve and welcome to the family....
December 20, 2014
Craig and Ginny Turner Visit
We had the pleasure of a visit by Craig and Ginny Turner on their recent trip out to San Diego from North Carolina. Craig was one of the original participants in the KinnardUkes Road Trip and Ginny was the very first person to try out and give feedback on the Kinnard soprano. They have been big supporters of ours from the start and we really appreciate them taking the time to stop by.
John was able to show them around the shop and we got the chance to catch up on all the latest with KinnardUkes. Craig had the opportunity to try out the new baritone and a couple of tenors including a brand new build that had just been brought up to pitch that morning. Man, that guy can play!
Thanks for taking the time to visit and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Dec 5, 2014
Kimo Hussey Workshop/Concert
with Zanuck Lindsey
March 16, 2015
4:00- 6:00pm workshop
Concert at 7:00
KinnardUkes is proud to announce a St Paddy's Eve ukulele workshop and concert featuring Kimo Hussey and Zanuck Lindsey on Monday, March 16, 2015. The workshop and concert will be held near the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad California. The workshop will start at 4:00 in the afternoon and the concert will be that evening at 7:00pm.
Price is $25.00 for both the workshop and concert. If you wish to attend just the workshop or just the concert, the price is $15.00.
If you have never taken a workshop with Uncle Kimo you are in for a treat! He will be joined by Zanuck Lindsey, an amazing musician from Hawaii, and they will be showing you techniques and tricks to help you on your uke journey. Stay tuned for more details. Workshop is limited to 30 people. To reserve a spot contact me at kevin@KinnardUkes.com or call me at 760 271-8334.
2385 Camino Vida Roble Suite 201
Carlsbad, Ca. 92011
December 1, 2014
Hawaii Music Supply
We just returned home from the island of Oahu where we had the opportunity to meet the wonderful folks at Hawaii Music Supply. Andrew Kitakis and the crew do an amazing job of supplying not only a huge selection of instruments to the ukulele community but also the Aloha spirit that goes with them.
We are pleased and honored to announce that HMS will be the exclusive dealer for John S. Kinnard soprano size ukuleles and we are thrilled to be a part of this great organization.
We look forward to you hearing what these little sopranos can do! Go to www.theukulelesite.com and check out the video section to hear Corey play the Kinnard soprano shown below. If you have any questions or would like to get one on order please contact Andrew at:
Hawaii Music Supply
Latest News and Events
The 2016 Ukulele Builder's Guild show was held on November 18-20 at the famous Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki Beach on Oahu. Builders from around the world attended and showed off an amazing array of ukuleles. It was a great time and we had the opportunity to meet up with old friends and met a whole bunch of new ones. The aloha spirit was really evident and the sharing of tips and build info by the luthiers was present throughout the display areas.
Kimo Hussey, John Covey, Mike Chock and Manny Halican, along with the other members of the guild put on a great event and we look forward to 2017.
November 29, 2016
The Kinnard Z-stock design headstock is now available on our Series 2 and Series 3 ukuleles. This headstock design was introduced at the 2016 Ukulele Builders Guild of Hawaii show on Waikiki Beach. This unique design will be offered in the open window style for the Series 3 and an inlay design for the Series 2 instruments.
Announcing the Kinnard "Z-stock" Design Headstock Option
Feb 15, 2016
Hong Kong Visit with Kimo Hussey
We just returned from a 12 day visit to Hong Kong where we were hosted by Harry Ngai who put on a ukulele retreat featuring Kimo Hussey and David Chen. Our visit corresponded with the Chinese Lunar New Year and we were graciously hosted to dinners and events with Harry's friends and family.
We had an amazing time and got to tour many areas of Hong Kong along with a visit to Macau on one of the days. Hong Kong truly is a "must see" destination combining the old with the new. It's a modern, extremely clean city with a mass transit system that can take you everywhere with very little effort.
During our visit we conducted a 3 day ukulele retreat along with some public concerts by Kimo, David and Harry. KinnardUkes was well represented as we brought three instruments for display along with Kimo's new super tenor he brought along. This allowed the participants the opportunity to be introduced to and play the instruments in a workshop environment and they seemed to really enjoy the experience.
I had the opportunity to make a presentation on the design and construction of custom ukes and also the chance to teach a class on improvisation which was a lot of fun for all of us.
What a wonderful opportunity it was to travel with Kimo and I learned quite a lot from sitting in on his workshop. We had a truly great time and look forward to our next trip with him to promote high quality ukuleles in different parts of the world.
Shop Visit by Michael and Ann Watts
December 17, 2015
'Ukulele Builders Guild of Hawaii' Show 2015
"Ukulele Builders Guild of Hawaii" Show 2016