KĀNEʻOHE, HAWAIʻI – Kanileʻa ʻUkulele welcomes Craig Chee, a powerhouse ʻukulele player and social media influencer to its marketing team. Craig brings years of experience as a recorded artist, instructor, photographer, videographer and world traveler to Hawaiʻi’s most innovative ʻukulele company.
“Craig is taking Kanileʻa to a whole new level,” says Lina Langi, Artist Relations for Kanileʻa ʻUkulele. “He is innovative, creative and has such a spirit of collaboration – he knows how to achieve a win-win situation in all he does. He’s a talented content creator with experience in front of and behind the camera. And as an ʻukulele performer and instructor, he knows what looks good, what sounds good, and what other players are looking for in their perfect instrument. Seven years ago, we felt it an honor to have Craig, with his ʻukulele partner and wife Sarah Maisel, as Kanileʻa artists. Now, we feel even more blessed to have him as part of our Kanileʻa marketing team.”
Born and raised in Mānoa, Hawaiʻi, Craig Chee has gained world renown as a pop/folk ʻukulele performer and instructor. In 2013, after years as a solo artist, Craig began a team collaboration with Sarah Maisel, a seasoned ʻukulele jazz performer whose style is reminiscent of Hawaiʻi’s Golden Age of music. With their base of operations in San Diego, California, they traveled the world headlining ʻukulele festivals and selling out retreats as CheeMaisel in Australia, Canada, Japan, Germany and beyond. In 2015, they took their collaboration to the next level when they became husband and wife. CheeMaisel now call Mānoa home and are often found online hosting livestream events, with well over 30,000 participants, while teaching and performing with their #1 fan: their son Cameron.
“As we infused ourselves into the ‘ukulele world, Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele has always been there to help support us, “says Craig. “Besides their gorgeous instruments, Sarah and I love how much the company gives back to the community, from various donations to schools and programs to the larger than life, Reforest Hawai‘i.
“Now that Sarah and I are raising a child, we decided to raise him in Hawai‘i, surrounded by family and music. The team at Kanile‘a reached out to offer a position that would allow me to utilize our relationship on a whole new level. I’m excited to help create brand new content to help Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele reach a bigger audience and create ways to offer a more intimate relationship with their fans and supporters. I hope you’ll join us in our new adventures!”
Craig will oversee photography, videography and graphic design for the company, creating sizzling content for social media and directing livestream events. He will also be putting his playing skills to work with product reviews and showcasing what makes Kanileʻa stand out from the rest.
About Kanileʻa ʻUkulele:
Husband-wife team Joe and Kristen Souza founded Kanileʻa ʻUkulele in July of 1998. Joe apprenticed under master luthier, the late Peter Bermudez, learning “uncle Pete’s” traditional Hawaiian building techniques while working to integrate today’s 21st century technologies. This mash up of old and new has proven effective in creating a full-bodied, rich sound that is distinctive of these playable masterpieces. Their three adult sons are now an integral part of the business. Joe collaborates with the youngest, Kahiau, regarding design and production. Kristen mentors their middle son, Iokepa, in administrative operations. Their eldest, Kaimana, oversees Sales and Marketing for both retail clients and dealers around the globe. Together, the Souza family strives to innovate a healthy and creative world through high quality and joyful sounding ʻukulele. In October 2020, Kanileʻa opened its flagship retail store at Windward Mall offering ʻukulele for all ages and all levels of ability.
Kanileʻa ʻukulele are available worldwide through authorized dealers and directly from the factory. Tours of the factory have been suspended due to COVID-19 and will resume once it is safe to do so. For more details, call (808) 234-2868 or visit kanileaukulele.com.