Banjo ukulele builders, links and resources
The banjolele (brand name; sometimes banjo ukulele or banjo uke) is a four-stringed musical instrument with a small banjo-type body and a fretted ukulele neck. "Banjolele," sometimes also spelled “banjelele’ or “banjulele’ is a generic nickname given to the instrument, which was derived from the ‘banjulele-banjo,’ introduced by Alvin D. Keech in 1917.
18 Forbes Road
White Salmon, Washington 98672
from the Mya-Moe Ukuleles web site
Gordon **& Char Mayer** and Aaron Keim are the luthiers who build all Mya-Moe Ukuleles. They have combined expertise in design, engineering, music, and lutherie. They both have masters degrees in engineering. Gordon has been building guitars for 7 years. Char is a professional musician. Before building guitars, Gordon was a wood-turning artist, giving him extended knowledge of different woods & their properties.
Char’s artistic bent was expressed in hand-pieced Roman shades. Together, they hand-craft each instrument, a culmination of their combined educations & experiences in engineering, art & music.
Artful Bodger Woodworks
Nancy Romalov, Furniture Maker
Iowa City, Iowa
from the Tin Pan Ukuleles web site
Having spent the greater part of my adult life exercising the left side of my brain–I received a PhD in American Studies at the University of Iowa and have taught at various colleges for the past 20 years–I decided several years ago it was time to strike a balance. I began to pursue a long-time interest in woodworking and have since been laboring toward a total career shift. With any luck, I’ll have achieved that shift before I reach retirement age.
U.S. Music Corp
444 E. Courtland St.
Mundelein, IL 60060
Phone: 1-800 US SOUND (877-6863) OR 847-949-0444
from the Oscar Schmidt by Washburn web site
The Oscar Schmidt Company was founded in 1871 and incorporated in 1911. By the early 1900s, the company had five factories in Europe and a factory on Ferry Street in Jersey City. They made all kinds of stringed instruments, guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, zithers, and Autoharps®.
292 South Main Street
Sheffield, MA 01257
Our family store, Funky Frets is an authorized dealer and carries the Magic Fluke Company brand.
from the Magic Fluke Company web site
The Magic Fluke Co. was started by Dale and Phyllis Webb in 1999 in the basement of our home in New Hartford Connecticut. I was inspired and encouraged by Phyllis’s brother Jim Beloff, an accomplished musician and guitarist who discovered the uke a few years earlier. Jim realized anyone interested in playing the uke back then had very little to choose from in the way of available music or instruments and in 1992, he incorporated as Flea Market Music and released the first of many music books and videos. In the late nineties, I had the motivation to jump ship from the corporate world and decided to make an attempt at an affordable, USA-made ukulele. Armed with prototypes made with thermoformed parts from the kitchen oven, and a handful of Jim’s books and CDs, we committed to exhibit at The National Association of Music Merchants annual trade show in LA, January of 1999. The Magic Fluke Company was born and there was no looking back as orders started coming in and we had to tool up and start producing instruments.
pronounced Kah’ la
P.O. Box 751149
Petaluma, California 94975-1149
tel:1 877 Uke Duke
Our family store, Funky Frets is an authorized dealer and carries the Kala Brand Music Company brand.
from the Kala Brand Music Company web site
Mike Upton is the founder of Kala Brand Music Company in northern California. Established in 2005, Kala builds 120-plus models of ukulele, including travel and bass variations. Kala amd Makala brand of ukuleles.
3700 Washington Ave. S.
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: (321) 264-1970
Fax: (321) 269-4910
from the Gold Tone Instrument Company web site
Gold Tone Banjos, located in Titusville, Florida was founded by Wayne and Robyn Rogers in 1993. Active folk musicians in the 70’s and 80’s, they opened Strings N’ Things Music Center in 1978. In 1993 Wayne designed the original TB-100 Travel Banjo and began manufacturing and distributing the “Traveler” mail order. After a wonderful review by Banjo Newsletter, the TB-100 became very much in demand. As the company grew, new innovations were combined with proven vintage designs. Dealers and customers continued to request quality banjos in a reasonable price range and soon Gold Tone’s collection included 5 strings, 6 strings, Banjitars, Mando Banjos, 4 strings, Weissenborns, metal bodies, resonator guitars and mandolins.
EAST COAST: 1000 Technology Park Dr.
Glen Allen, VA 23059
Phone: (800) 446-6010
Fax: (804) 515-0347
WEST COAST: 1240 Quarry St.
Corona, CA 92879
Phone: (800) 637-0477
Our family store, Funky Frets is an authorized dealer and carries the Lanikai Ukuleles brand.
from the Lanikai Ukuleles web site
Lanikai Beach, Hawaii - its name means “Heavenly Ocean”… and Lanikai Ukuleles let you “ride the wave” to your own heavenly musical landscape.
from the Spanky Banjo Ukes web site
Spanky Banjo Ukes are built by luthiers Dan Fobert and Phil Morris. Combining Phil’s longtime love affair with the ukulele and Dan’s creativity and innovative construction techniques, with input from other uke players they have developed an idea for an instrument built in the traditional way but utilizing up to date features. Spanky Banjo Ukes use a longer, wider concert scale length neck for easier play and a synthetic head to eliminate the problems natural skin heads have with changes in humidity. The advanced Renaissance and Fiberskyn head materials produce a mellow natural tone while maintaining plenty of banjo volume and punch.
Ozaukee County, **Wisconsin
eMail: [email protected]
from the Todd Korup, the Uker of OZ web site
Well let’s see. First and foremost I am a husband and father of 3 awesome kids. I love music, art, classic designs and building things. I love things made of fine wood and metal including classic cars, old buildings, old tools and machines, longboard skateboards and of coarse….instruments. The art of luthier has brought all those things together in a very rewarding way.
277 W. Brighton Road
Columbus, Ohio, 43202
Fax: (201) 917-1482
from the WaverlyStreet Ukuleles web site
WaverlyStreet Software has been producing practical, easy-to-use programs for home and office since 1996. We use the “Shareware” distribution concept, which means that you can download fully-operational packages and try them out for a period of time while deciding whether or not to purchase. If you like the program, you can register on-line via credit card (or through surface mail) and receive a registration code which makes the program YOURS, without having to download anything else or re-install the software!
122 Battle Dr.
Dallas, Georgia 30132
eMail: [email protected]
from the Gourd Banjos web site
To construct all my banjos, I try to find the finest materials available . Your banjo will truely be one of a kind because these instruments are made from gourds grown in the fields of Casa Grade, Arizona. Some of the gourds that I use measure up to 3/4” thick, making them ideal for a carved surface. Also, thickness does have a factor in the tone of the instrument.
Tommy George and Christian Stanfield
301 Church Street
from the Small Wonder Banjos web site
My fascination with banjos was first sparked in 1975 when I discovered the joys of old time music while living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Soon I was repairing and restoring great old instruments, and after settling in Seattle, I began designing and building my own banjo-family instruments in 1985. I am especially fond of the the late 19th century banjo aesthetic, and at the same time I enjoy taking banjo design in playful and humorous directions. I’ve had a lot of experience creating custom inlays, including: skeletons, lizards, frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, crows, cats, llamas, hens, roosters, burning candles, and floral motifs. I have built open backed 5 string Banjos (both 11in, and 12in rims) minstrel banjos, banjo-guitars, and banjo-ukes (using both standard banjo construction, and my unique “neck-through” body design).
1922 W. Banta Ave.
Indianapolis, Indiana 46217
Our family store, Funky Frets is an authorized dealer and carries the Eddy Finn Ukuleles brand.
from the Eddy Finn Ukuleles web site
From the distinctive soundhole resonance to the exotic woods used to hand craft each one to tonal perfection, every one has a song waiting to be played. Pick up an Eddy Finn and it’s like a blast of warm sea air hitting your senses. Hand set ocean abalone, fishbone, herringbone…it’s all here. But the truth? It has to sound great first or it’s just a decoration hanging on a wall. Nobody wants that. At the core it has to be musical. It has to breathe.
Great site with a lot of history on the bajo ukulele. Especially from the perspective of the United Kingdom, Great Britain where the banjo was wildly popular. thanks to George Formby.
George Formby, Jr., OBE (26 May 1904 – 6 March 1961) was an English singer and comedian, famous for playing the banjolele, a banjo-like instrument, and performing a variety of light, comical songs. He would eventually become a popular star of stage and screen.
Content is always being added and updated. So check-in often. Thanks, Curt
Over 500+ lessons, 54 songs and TABS, 240+ archtop luthiers, 200+ ukulele builders, festival information, ukulele links on the web. On the web since the early 90's and growing everyday. This site just never stops growing!!!
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