Now this japanese guy is one hot Uke player, I tell you. Interesting to see Pacific Longboarder write about him:
‘08 Monday, 11 February 2008Jake Shimabukuro (she-ma-BOO-koo-row) is recognized as one of the world’s top ukulele (oo-koo-LAY-lay) musicians, and one of the most jaw-dropping performers of any instrument. Renowned for lightning-fast fingers, revolutionary playing techniques, and wildly eclectic repertoire, Jake views the ukulele as an ‘untapped source of music with unlimited potential.’ It is no coincidence that Jake is the first ukulele player ever invited to perform as a solo artist at the Sydney Opera House! Playing jazz, blues, funk, classical, bluegrass, folk, flamenco and rock, Jake plays beyond all musical boundaries.It began when his mother gave him a ukulele lesson at age four. ‘When I played my first chord I was hooked,’ says Jake. Evolving from the heavily amplified riffs that earned Jake the reputation as ‘Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele,’ now Jake masterfully extracts the pure ‘clean’ natural acoustic sound of the uke, delicately making a single note smile or cry on his most recent releases, Gently Weeps and My Life. The highlight of Gently Weeps is Jake’s cover of George Harrison’s ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps.’ The video clip of Jake playing this in Central Park appeared on YouTube, and made Jake the medium’s first global superstar with over 3.5 million hits. When Jake had the honor of meeting Harrison’s widow, Olivia, backstage at his show with the Honolulu Symphony, she described feeling George’s presence with her when Jake played his rendition of Gently Weeps. From a modest beginnings at a Honolulu café, Jake has gone on to play at venues such as the House of Blues and The Knitting Factory (Los Angeles), The Birchmere (Alexandria, VA), Tipitina’s (New Orleans), Joe’s Pub and Knitting Factory (NYC), Ottawa Blues Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, The Bumbershoot Festival, The Fuji Rock Festival (Japan) and many others. Touring with Jimmy Buffett in ’05, ’06 and ’07 gave Jake ‘a priceless experience’ of playing to crowds of over 100,000. Jake’s first national TV slot was in December ’05 on NBC’s The Late Show with Conan O’Brien.