Yesterday's Star Bulletin had a wonderful profile of Judd Finkelstein, a Napa Valley uke-player, and proprieter of Judd's Hill winery. Tikimeister Otto Von Stroheim turned us on to Judd and his band, The Maikai Gents, a couple of years ago, but they'd fallen off our radar screen until yesterday.
The article tells about how Judd caught the uke bug, and eventually bought a KoAloha ukulele:
"Even after years of playing the instrument, he had not met the creators -- until an unfortunate incident brought them together. After a performance at the Napa Valley wine auction, Judd set his ukulele on a table, and someone accidentally bumped it to the ground, cracking it. "I was a little upset," Judd said. He e-mailed KoAloha Ukulele to inquire about obtaining repairs on the mainland.Now, it's apparently hard to tell whether KoAloha is the official ukulele of Judd's Hill or if Judd's Hill is the official wine of KoAloha.
The folks at KoAloha told him to send it to Hawaii and invited him to visit. So Judd flew across the ocean "to meet the craftsmen behind the ukulele that I love."
Their products are different, but the striking similarities between the two family-run businesses ignited a lasting friendship."
We gave Otto a heads-up on the article and he notes that the photo identified by the Star Bulletin as being of Judd, with beard, carving a tiki in front of his band, is actually an image of Crazy Al carving while APE goes ape!
Oh, and for our fellow tuba-players out there, don't miss Bunnie Finkelstein, Judd's mom!