Ukuleles at NAMM 2016: Friday Links

This year’s Winter NAMM (the big music instrument trade show) had plenty of new ukuleles to gawp at:

– The uke that’s really lubed my wallet-slit this year is the 2016 Kanile’a Platinum. I’m guessing it’s going to be over $3,000 so I’m just going to let my dreams be dreams.

Kamaka Ukuleles are 100 years old and kicked off their centenary with a show at NAMM packed with ukulele stars. I recommend watching PBS’s Kamaka documentary to catch up with their long history.

Scooped cutaways seem to be the new hotness this year. As well as Kanile’a, aNueNue has the Super Lani, Kala has a new scalloped series and Rebel have the new Livingston tenor. (Also hot: comfort edges.)

– Blackbird have long been experimenting with materials used in their instruments. The latest is the most unusual yet: the Ekoa ukulele made from linen. You can find out more in this factory tour video.

– At the goofy end of the spectrum are Ayers’ Zodiac ukuleles.

– And this year’s wackiest idea goes to Bugsgear for this thing that has a speaker in the soundhole so you can play along with a backing track.

– Deering have launched a tenor banjolele. Mim tested one out.

View Comments


  1. Janne February 5th, 2016 2:19 pm

    “Scooped cutaway”, “comfort edges” – my mind wanders toward adult incontinence products for some reason…

  2. Mark February 5th, 2016 8:56 pm

    Scooped cutaways just look like another plot against lefthanders to me.

  3. Dave February 5th, 2016 10:59 pm

    You’ve got to love BugsGear, they make some crazy stuff.

  4. Woodshed February 6th, 2016 8:57 am

    Janne: That’s one way to think of it…

    Mark: I think you can safely let this trend drift by.

    Dave: They’re certainly out there!

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