comscore Craftsman’s deft, skilled touch helped ukulele sing | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Lee Cataluna

Craftsman’s deft, skilled touch helped ukulele sing

  • COURTESY KAMAKA FAMILY

    Julian Hipolito made Kamaka ukuleles for 47 years before retiring in 2005. He kept in touch with the family, riding the bus and later the Handi-Van to come visit, and he would always show up for big events and the annual Kamaka Christmas party.

  • COURTESY KAMAKA FAMILY

    Julian Hipolito in the Kamaka Ukulele factory. Hipolito died March 6 at the Queen’s Medical Center. He was 77. He is survived by three nephews and a niece. The Kamaka family is helping with the memorial service, which will be held Saturday at Ballard Family Mortuary in Moanalua.

  • COURTESY KAMAKA FAMILY

    Julian Hipolito was hearing impaired but could tune the ukulele by feeling the vibrations of the wood if he tapped on the instrument. He made thousands of these famous instruments though he could not hear them play.

Julian Hipolito was the last of what Fred Kamaka Jr. calls “The Dream Team” — four master craftsmen who for decades made the world-renowned Kamaka ukuleles. Read more

Scroll Up