About Us

Since 1984, Island Guitars has provided Hawaii’s musicians with quality instruments from the finest manufacturers of guitars, ukuleles and amplifiers. With our extensive inventory of instruments, and our knowledgeable sales staff, we can provide the perfect instrument to meet the needs of everyone from the seasoned professional to the novice enthusiast.

JIM DANZ – Senior Partner, Administration

A consummate collector, Jim previously enjoyed success dealing in collectable coins. His love of guitars led him to start collecting and trading vintage instruments in 1972. By the mid 70’s Jim had established himself as an expert in vintage guitars and repairs. He handled all of the vintage guitar sales and acoustic instrument repairs at the Solder Joint, one of the most well known shops in Honolulu from 1979 to 1980.

In 1984, Island Guitars opened it’s doors at 76 North King Street in downtown Honolulu. After a successful 21 year stay at the Ward Warehouse shopping complex, the store moved to their current location in the Nimitz Center at 1130 North Nimitz Highway, across from Pier 38.

NEIL SHIMABUKURO – Senior Partner, Administration, Sales

Neil’s love of music began in the 70’s. He started playing guitar in 1978 and was hooked. Neil was a fixture at Island Guitars from the beginning, and by 1987, Neil had signed on as co-owner. With Neil’s addition to the helm, the store’s momentum towards success began. Neil brought with him a vast knowledge of electric instruments and amplifiers which meshed perfectly with Jim’s expertise of acoustic instruments. Under this newly formed partnership, a foundation was set and a vision of what a music store should be evolved.

These days, Neil’s responsibilities account for the major portion of the administrative duties, but Neil can still be found out on the floor sharing his extensive knowledge with customers.

PETER BOND – Repair Technician, Sales

Peter joined Island Guitars in 1993 as a highly respected repair technician.  His love of music started early, playing guitar at 13, beginning a lifelong passion for the instrument. He attended the Guitar Research and Development Academy in Vermont, where he learned the ins and outs of guitar craftsmanship and built his first instruments.

Peter became a major figure in the local band scene in the ’80s and ’90s, playing in such popular bands Hat Makes The Man, Spiny Norman, and Oriental Love Ring.  He also brings with him years of retail experience as manager of a major record store in Honolulu.

ILISA PERALTA – Music Instructor, Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele

Ilisa Peralta is a private guitar tutor who teaches inside of Island Guitars at Nimitz Center. She offers lessons that focus on the student’s musical interests while maintaining an ability to hone the skill of each student. She is very versatile and works one on one with students to teach them songs they are interested in learning.

She believes that music’s greatest benefit is its ability to relieve stress and boost mental health. This take on playing music is reflected in her relaxed and free style of lessons that, to some extent, could be considered a jam session, due to the lack of pressure placed on students.