Jake Shimabukuro


Oct 21, 2017 – 1:00 PM

31 West Street
Annapolis, MD 21401 Map

  • Jake Shimabukuro

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Consider the humble ukulele. Its an adaptation of a stringed instrument that traveled with Portuguese immigrants who came to work in the sugar cane fields of Hawaii. Islanders made the machete their own, mixing external influences of classical European music and Spanish guitar with Hawaiian songs. Native Hawaiians renamed the little machete the ukulele and its become synonymous with Hawaiian music and Hawaiian culture.Jake Shimabukuro comes from that same process of mixing both island and outside influences, both modern and historical. Hes combined the qualities of a long line of virtuoso ukulele players with modern rock musicians to create a sound thats uniquely his own but still firmly grounded in Hawaiian tradition.Growing up in Hawaii, Jakes influences include legendary ukulele players like Eddie Kamae, Ohta-San and Peter Moon. Jake also credits icons like Bruce Lee and Michael Jordan as a source of inspiration.Known for his energetic strumming on the ukulele, Jakes performance incorporates elements of thoughtful, sophisticated arrangements to spontaneous, improvised passages. In addition to his original compositions, his repertoire includes Queens Bohemian Rhapsody, Schuberts Ave Maria and Cohens Hallelujah.Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jakes life has always centered on the ukulele. He started playing at the age of four, urged by his mother who also played.Jake began his music career in the mid-90s, performing at local coffee shops as a sideman with his first band, Pure Heart. But Jakes solo career began in 2002 when he signed with Epic Records, becoming the first ukulele player to sign with Sony Music. While his well-received solo releases positioned Jake as an established musician in Hawaii and Japan, his career skyrocketed when a cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps went viral on YouTube with more than 13 million views, opening the rest of the worlds eyes to Jake and his unique playing style.In the years since the YouTube clip aired, Jake has collaborated with an array of artists that include Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Michael McDonald, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, Tommy Emmanuel, and Lyle Lovett as well as orchestras around the world. Hes sold out world-class venues, played at Bonnaroo, SXSW, the Playboy Jazz Festival, Fuji Rock Festival, the influential TED conference, and even performed for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England.He has topped Billboards World Music Chart numerous times, been declared a musical hero by Rolling Stone Magazine, which also stated: one of the hottest axemen of the past few years doesnt actually play guitar. He has also won accolades from the disparate likes of Eddie Vedder who states: Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I cant see anybody else catching up with; been talked about by Perez Hilton and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, wowed audiences on national TV with appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Conan OBrien, Good Morning America, and The Today Show, and along the way has earned comparisons to musical innovators such as Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis.Jake has been the subject of an award winning documentary Jake Shimabukuro: Life On Four Strings, currently on Netflix. Jake also travels to schools around the world and spreads positive messages to young people, encouraging them to find their passion and live drug-free.Although he is constantly touring, playing 140 shows a year, Jake and his family continue to make Hawaii their home.
Jake Shimabukuro: National Public Radio Morning Edition, September 28, 2006 .. Think the ukulele is just a cheap, plastic toy to be played under a palm tree? One listen to Jake Shimabukuro and you'll change your mind. The Hawaiian-born ukulele virtuoso strums and plucks a variety of sounds out of the tiny instrument, from Ave Maria to While My Guitar Gently Weeps. For the full story and to hear Jake's interview and music click here

Jake's Custom Kamaka Tenor Ukulele

"To say Shimabukuro plays the ukulele is like saying Tiger Woods plays a little golf." - Joe O'Gara, Nuvo Newsweekly (Indianapolis, IN)

"Jake's show was an absolutely jaw-dropping instrumental performance... something you'll talk about for years." - Matt Blackett, Frets Magazine

Jake Shimabukuro, the ukulele virtuoso who has reinvented the instrument, has built up a huge following in his native Hawaii, as well as Japan, and is now conquering hearts and musical minds all over the U.S. His performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is an internet-performance legend (Google it!), a reputation which he added to with his recent performance on NBC-TV's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."

Jake's music is, as Duke Ellington would have put it, "beyond category." His recent gigs range from touring with Jimmy Buffett, Bela Fleck, and his own band to recording with Ziggy Marley and performing the National Anthem at a Rockets-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.

Recent reviews of Jake's music are enthusiastic, and very strong:

"Shimabukuro brings to mind string wizards in the class of jazz greats Pat Metheny, George Benson, and John Scofield." - Jeff Tamarkin, Editor, Global Rhythm

"Ever hear a ukulele scream and cry? Shimabukuro, a 29-year-old virtuoso on the instrument, plays with the passion of a blues player and the adventurous spirit of Larry Carlton. Throw in some effects and you've got a hero waiting to be discovered." - Bob Gulla, Guitar One

"His chords are as inventive as his solos are blazing." - R.J. Klimpert, Vintage Guitar

"[Jake's] crazy flipping fingers provided one show-stopping moment after another... the 29-year-old is advancing the ukulele the way Bela Fleck has advanced the banjo and Chris Thile is advancing the mandolin." - Dave Lindquist, The Indianpolis Star

"Shimabukuro takes his instrument out of the traditional Don Ho gentle-pluck realm and into an explosive multi-genre landscape... it's also clear that Shimabukuro is equally interested in strong melodies and harmonies, and stylistic variety." - Jonathan Widran,

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