Two Legendary Trees + Six World-Class Instrument Builders =
Lots of Children Harnessing the Healing Power of Music
LOS ANGELES, CA – Luthiers for a Cause is proud to announce that the six custom tenor ukuleles created for its groundbreaking project The Voice of the Luthier have been sold as a set for $100,000. All of the proceeds are going to The Ukulele Kids Club, a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to harness the healing power of music by sending hospitalized children home with the gift of music for life.
The acquirers, who wish to remain anonymous, are a husband and wife who appreciate ukulele and who are advocates for music therapy. “When I first heard about the concept of the project I was enchanted,” said the husband. “The benevolence of the luthiers who volunteered their effort and artistry to produce a set of instruments to benefit the Ukulele Kids Club charmed my wife and me, because we had fallen in love with the UKC and the work it does for thousands of children in hospitals. It was a perfect combination of art, craftsmanship, ukuleles, and charity. I had expected one instrument to stand out for me. Instead, they were all uniquely beautiful in design. And the tone from each instrument was truly amazing.”
The acquirers hope that by keeping the collection together they can provide even more benefit to The Ukulele Kids Club by possibly using them in museum exhibits, concerts and potentially even a CD featuring all six ukuleles being played by world-class players. The wife added, “We see this as an opportunity to expand awareness about the work UKC is doing through its ever-growing network of pediatric hospitals who use board-certified music therapists to help sick children harness the healing power of music.”
The Voice of the Luthier project was devised to help explore an often-asked question in the acoustic music world. What is the relative importance of the wood used and the builder in determining the final tone of an instrument? Six of the world’s most distinguished ukulele builders came together to showcase their own unique approaches to aesthetics and voicing an instrument:
· Steve Grimes (www.grimesguitars.com)
· Beau Hannam (www.beauhannamguitars.com)
· John Kinnard (www.kinnardukes.com)
· Jay Lichty (www.lichtyguitars.com)
· Jake Maclay (www.hiveukuleles.com)
· Joji Yoshida (www.jojiyoshidaguitars.com)
In addition to the luthiers, Rodgers Tuning Machines contributed artisan engraved tuners and world-renowned inlay artist Harvey Leach inlayed the Luthiers for a Cause logo on the fretboard of each instrument. Oahu Cases contributed leather-wrapped fiberglass cases for the ultimate in instrument protection.
The wood used in each of these instruments is extremely rare and legendary among acoustic guitar and ukulele enthusiasts. The back and sides are from a particular Honduran mahogany tree that is truly one-of-a-kind in its figuring and so famous that it is simply known as The Tree. The soundboard is Lucky Strike Redwood, which is from a redwood that fell during a storm and straddled a small ravine. The suspended section air-dried over many years, resulting in a higher strength-to-weight ratio than is typically found in redwood.
Since its founding in early 2014, more than 4,700 ukuleles have been gifted to almost 200 hospitals with board-certified music therapists in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. UKC Founder Corey Bergman said, “The generosity of everyone involved in this unique project has been overwhelming and has helped us spread awareness about the healing power of music therapy. Since every $40 donation puts one of our instruments into the hands of a sick child, this outcome will help us make big steps toward our goal of placing 10,000 ukuleles by the end of 2019.”
To learn more, including seeing and hearing the instruments, or to make a contribution to Ukulele Kids Club, visit The Luthiers for a Cause website (www.luthiersforacause.org) or follow us on Facebook.
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