KoAloha started making ukuleles in 1995 and have quickly become very highly respected. There are an impressive number of top ukulelists using KoAloha ukuleles including Herb Ohta Jnr, Daniel Ho, Britt Paiva and Victoria Vox.
KoAloha ukuleles are all made of solid Koa wood (hence the name: koa+aloha=KoAloha) and built in their factory in Hawaii. As a result they are fairly expensive instruments, usually upwards of $400. They do also have a budget range called KoAlana which are built in China and finished in Hawaii. These ukuleles are in the $100 – $200 range but are hard to come by right now.
It can be quite tricky to get your hands on a KoAloha. From what I’ve heard, they’re not easy to come across on the US mainland. Certainly, they’re not easy to get in Europe. However, MGM usually has a good selection of them up on eBay and is always the first on the net with new models.
CNBC talk to Alvin ‘Pops KoAloha’ Okami.
KoAloha Signature Series
At the moment, KoAloha are working their way through a seven part Masterpiece Collection. This signature series will be seven individual and distinctive new designs of ukulele.
The first was the KoAloha Pineapple Sunday which takes the idea of a pineapple ukulele and takes it to its logical conclusion.
The second in the series was the KoAloha Sceptre. This is an absolutely incredible ukulele design. Here’s a video of Alvin Okami doing a little mythologising about the instrument and displaying its incredible sound.