At Riverbend Instruments we strive to innovate by creating new designs and instruments that are accessible to musicians of all levels. Our flagship instrument, the solid body electric ukulele was created not only as a way to push the instrument into new territory, but as a way to bring a new tool to singer songwriters and musicians.
Founder Adam Mendel started building instruments in 2014 by bringing a cajon building class to the high school where he taught. After teaching over 70 students to build cajons and cookie tin banjos, Adam re-ignited his long time dream of building stringed instruments. Mendel says, “With the success of my first few instruments I was hooked and was searching for a way to continue building. I knew that I didn’t need walls full of instruments in my house, so I wanted to find a way to share my work and get it out to the public. I had been plucking the Ukulele for several years after being inspired by musicians like Jake Shimabokuro and Gabby Pahinui and realized that the intersection of this interest and my newfound love of building instruments could be a jumping off point. I started sketching up solid body ukes and dreaming big. Riverbend Instruments is the result of those dreams.”
In the fall of 2016, Adam finished his first electric ukulele, inspired to finish before Jake Shimabokuro played a concert in Bend. After the show, with the finish on the ukulele just dry and the electronics freshly wired, Jake took a few minutes to check out the uke. He gave Adam some words of encouragement and Riverbend instruments was officially up and running.
Since then, Riverbend Instruments has continued to create electric ukes and other instruments, experimenting with different woods, electronics, and finishes. The result is a series of instruments that give a new voice to the ukulele and it’s player. Riverbend Instruments Ukuleles honor the tradition of the ukulele, while committing to it’s innovation. We believe in creating instruments that are as fun to play as they sound and give ukulele players access to a new world of sounds and textures.