For those of you who are not able to follow our radio show broadcasting on 79.5 Radio-i in Nagoya, Japan, “Manoa DNA Reports” is a segment from our show where we report about places or events around town and share them with our radio listeners. I am going to try and follow up here on my blog on those reports, so if you see this header, that’s what’s up.
KoAloha Ukulele, located in Kalihi on the island of O’ahu, is one of Hawai’i’s premiere ‘Ukulele manufacturers. Founded and lead by the Okami family, KoAloha ‘Ukulele has been providing both affordable and high-end ‘Ukulele around the world.
Much like Manoa DNA, KoAloha is run by two generations of Okamis. Alvin “Papa KoAloha” Okami founded a plastics company before KoAloha, but soon found that his passion for music would be leading him away from the plastics business. Utilizing his relationships with many of Hawai’i’s top ‘Ukulele musicians, Alvin and his wife soon began production of hand crafted ‘Ukulele and have not looked back since. Joined by his two sons Alan & Paul, the Okami family have taken that small beginning and built a great ‘Ukulele company with a fleet of models to choose from.
Along with fully custom options available upon request, KoAloha’s vast array of ‘Ukulele include popular choices like the “Pineapple Sunday” model (with a body shaped like a pineapple), or the “Sceptre” (modeled after the KoAloha logo crown). Their standard lines include several Tenor, Concert and Soprano models and they are always inventing new custom and special models. Visit KoAloha.com or your nearest musical instrument retail store to find out the full list of models offered.
Factory tours are also available if you are on the island of O’ahu. They have partnered with the Waikiki Trolley which makes stops at the KoAloha factory, and also offer custom tours for those who want to take a personal look at the KoAloha story. As a special treat for the visitors, sometimes the Okami family even breaks out their own personal ‘ukulele and jams a song!
All in all, KoAloha is a model local family business. The Okamis have a true sense of Aloha and pass that on to each and every ‘ukulele they produce. If you get a chance to play a KoAloha ‘Ukulele, or visit their factory in Kalihi, understand that you are experiencing Hawai’i at its finest. Thanks to the whole KoAloha gang for letting me sit in and learn about the company. It was a pleasure to learn about each aspect of the company, and the family members that solidify its foundation.
For more information about KoAloha Ukulele, visit their website, http://www.koaloha.com.
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“Nick Reports” is a section of the segment “Manoa DNA Reports” featuring weekly reports from each of Manoa DNA (Dad, Nick & Alex). Featured on Manoa DNA’s radio show, “Discover Aloha,” “Manoa DNA Reports” showcases different highlights from Hawai’i and Manoa DNA. For more information about “Manoa DNA’s Discover Aloha” radio show, visit the show’s website, or tune into 79.5 Radio-i (Nagoya, Japan) every Sunday from 11:00-13:00 (11a-1p).