Hawaiian-born Shimabukuro has virtually reinvented the ukulele. No one else in the world plays, or has ever played, the instrument with anything that approaches his skill and artistry. He is a true master of styles and his playing has a wonderful innocence to it, as if each phrase feels new to him. This sense of discovery is abundant on his astonishing reinterpretations of popular songs ranging from the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” or Jimi Hendrix’s “If 6 Was 9,” the Zombies’ “Time of the Season” or Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Shimabukuro was born in Honolulu Hawaii and started playing the ukulele at the age of four. He was relatively unknown to the outside world until his ukulele version of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” became a You Tube sensation and racked up 12 million views. As soon as music fans got a listen to Shimabukuro’s virtuosic approach to the ukulele, they were hooked. His albums topped the Billboard World Music Charts, and as a live performer he became one of the hottest tickets around, headlining the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House (he even performed for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) while making frequent appearances on media outlets like The Today Show, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
Jake Shimabukuro performs with Nolan Verner on bass and Dave Preston on guitar.
“His latest album, The Greatest Dayexhibits Shimabukuro’s dazzling musical dexterity, his canny arrangements, and his way of letting his feel for sound and structure direct him around musical corners and down unexplored musical paths.” – No Depression