The Truth About Kanilea Ukulele

There is something advantageous about not being “#1”. Maybe they aren’t the oldest or biggest, but the companies or individuals clawing for the top are always the best. That’s what Kanilea has been doing for the last 10 years. Driven, not by money or prestige, but a genuine love of the craft, and a desire to give something that can inspire,  yet still making it attainable for us ukulele lovers that aren’t rich$.

The emergence of Kanilea is comparable to the way Taylor Guitars came up in the 90’s as a fresh alternative to the Martin or Martin-like acoustic. Refreshing new designs and sounds are irrefutably beautiful and loveable.

A collaborative push from Joe Souza and Bill Griffin has made the Kanilea wave undeniable. These two artist/musician/master luthiers have what Hawaiians call “the mana”, and of course the Koa! (Man, they got some nice logs!!)

      ~These Koa Ukuleles will outlast us,  and their sound will only get greater. Practically nothing else out there you spend money on has that quality.~

As musicians we LOVE good instruments. And it’s hard to not, in turn, love their makers in that “I love you man” kind of way. They’ve made our lives better!

Just like any human endeavor,  it takes constant hard work to be great. Joe and Bill are working at it everyday, giving the world jaw dropping quality from the island. These instruments are made from nature and are hand crafted to be amazing musical instruments. They are not coming thru a conveyor belt.  Each one of these beauties is a totally unique achievement.

So, what’s the truth about Kanilea Ukulele? …Well, that they’re awesome! …..What? …I didn’t say it was something that you didn’t already know 😐

Big Ups to these friendly and talented guys on the Windward side! Thanks for letting Hawaii Music Supply display the goods!   We have a slew of Kanile’a beauties show up every week at the store    Mahalo for reading!


“Variety is the spice of life”. ~ The Kanilea has a voice.  All 4 K’s have their own voice and which is “best” is subjective.

Comments 8

  1. A beautifully hand crafted assembly of love and as we say here in Australia – bloody marvellous!! What more could anyone want? Beautifully hand crafted with a sound to die for. I could hear the waves caressing the beach as it played the only melody the sand could absorb. I will probably never own one but boy! I sure wish I could.

  2. These instruments are beautiful in form and function. There is a cool video out there by Joe Souza showing the build process and he demonstrates the sound by singing with an 8 string tenor.

    I especially like the one with the inlay of the Hawaiian Islands.

    1. Post

      Thanks Lewis, and others commenting. I was taking pictures of a Kanilea this morning and it sounded so good! I picked it up to take a picture and played for over 30 minutes before coming to my senses. Good stuff. Two years after this was written and I still feel the same.

  3. I bought a Kanilea K-1C. The tone is great but the tuners were not put on straight. One is actually twisted. On the same side the two tuners are not the same equidistant from the other side. How in the world did this ukulele ever pass their supposed quality inspection! I bought this ukulele from the Polynesian Cultural Center. I will tell them that this company has not offered to do anything! Some warranty! They supposedly offer a 100% money back guarantee. I only have asked for an even exchange. Jim Moseley

    1. Post

      That’s the job of the retailer you buy from. We would have taken care of you. That’s our job. Kanile’a is focused on making great instruments. The Ukulele Site wants you to be happy, work with us in the future and you’ll have no worries. http://theukulelesite.com

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