The Story of the Kamaka Ukulele

I’d like to call your attention to a half hour program WOSU is airing Tuesday night at 9:30pm.  It’s probably one of those programs you’ll see on your guide and skip over, so I’m taking the time to give you a little more information in hopes you’ll give it a try.

Whenever I hear the word ukulele two things pop into my head, Tiny Tim and tropical beaches.  Let’s focus on the tropical beaches.  The ukulele was invented in 1879, by three instrument makers from Portugal after arriving on the Hawaiian Islands. I don’t know what it was about Hawaii that inspired these gentlemen to create the new instrument.  In 1916 Samuel Kaialiilii Kamaka instituted the Kamaka Ukulele and Guitar Works in Honolulu. Today the shop is known as Kamaka Hawaii, Inc. and makes what has become the gold standard for ‘ukuleles worldwide.

This program is a Hawaiian story about age-old values of hard work, fortitude, honesty and creativity from a distinctly Hawaiian point of view. Rooted in such concepts as aloha (unconditional love), malama (to serve and care for)and pono (doing what’s right), this film offers insight into this family of businessmen and artists and how they work together to preserve the family tradition of success and artistry. I hope you’ll find a little time in your schedule to take a look.

“Heart Strings: The Story of the Kamaka Ukulele” will air on WOSU TV, Tuesday, October 30 at 9:30pm with an encore presentation Wednesday, October 31 on WOSU PLUS.