I founded Keihäs Guitars in autumn 2014. During my luthier studies in Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design in 2011-2013 I already decided to found my own company and began to design my own guitar models. My dream was to create a trademark and eventually make my living as a guitar builder. After my graduation at the end of 2013, I was able to start realising my dream fulltime. I wanted to develop a family of guitars, which, in addition to a regular guitar, would include more exceptional acoustic instruments.
First I designed my own parlor model, because parlor guitars have always fascinated me. With proper structure and material, the guitar develops a beautiful and dynamic sound. Because of its small size, the parlor guitar is also comfortable to play and carry.
As a part of my luthier studies, I spent my practical training in Germany. It was there that I got really excited about the Weissenborn. With good playing skills it sounds as if there were more than just one guitar. It has a unique sound, which is not possible to produce with a regular guitar. As a result, I started to design my own lap slide guitar.
At the same time I was listening to many blues players, especially slide-playing ones. That is how I got the inspiration to design a resonator guitar with a wooden body. Now I have a guitar family with three members of Keihäs Guitars.
My musical passion is blues and other roots music. This music also inspires me when I am designing and building my guitars. Music, at its best, is storytelling which gives a powerful experience to the listeners. An instrument, at its best, has a strong influence on the player and this way brings a unique element to the story and deepens the experience. My goal is to build such instruments.
Jari Kokko, the founder of Keihäs Guitars