Kala Ukulele is perhaps the most widely known ukulele brand in the world, being seen in most musical instrument stores and becoming an integral part of music education. Kala ukulele models are a go to for ukulele players of all experience levels, with the widest range of ukulele available for beginners, all with a solid foundation of quality.
Kala was founded by Mike Upton in 2005 in Petaluma, California, after Upton had grown a fondness for the ukulele while working in Hawaii in the 1990s. At this time, there were basically two options when buying an ukulele: there was the highly prized yet less accessibly priced artisan ukulele as well as the poorly made souvenir ukulele that could not hold a tune. Kala ukulele sought to fill in the gap between these two and create affordable yet high quality instruments.
Kala quickly became the primary brand for anyone wanting to begin their ukulele journey. The first Kala series, the KA-15, was made out of laminate mahogany and was reasonably priced while still producing a quality sound. From there, the brand expanded to include a wide variety of tone woods and price points, from hand crafted pieces in Petaluma to child-friendly, durable, water-resistant plastic ukulele like the Waterman. Kala is also responsible for the presence of the U-BASS, an ukulele with thick strings with the tuning of a bass guitar.
Whatever type of ukulele you can think of, Kala most likely has a version to suit any need, from banjo ukulele, resonator ukulele, guitarlele, and now even guitars and canons so people can start their own bands! Due to the brand’s versatility, accessible price, and high levels of quality, Kala has become one of the leading ukulele companies in the world and is responsible for the modern rise of the ukulele’s popularity.