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Jake Shimabukuro has elevated the ukulele from a beloved Hawaiian folk instrument to a world-class vehicle, fearlessly traversing boundaries and putting his inspired touch on everything from island standards, to popular tunes and, classical symphonic concertos. No wonder Rolling Stone called him “one of the hottest axe men of the past few years [who] doesn’t actually play guitar.” Even Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder has voiced his admiration saying, “Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can’t see anybody else catching up with.”
He’ll be joined on-stage by Nolan Verner on bass and Dave Preston on guitar. They will perform songs from Jake’s most recent albums, Live in Japan (2015) and Travels (2015), favorites from his 15-year career, and several songs from his new studio album Nashville Sessions.
His first album of all original songs, Nashville Sessions is one of Jake’s most adventurous, multifaceted and engaging recordings yet. At the suggestion of his manager, Jake went into a Nashville studio this past January to jam with two top Nashville session players, Jake’s bassist Nolan Verner and drummer Evan Hutchings. The result is one of the boldest and most unique ukulele records ever made, and one that will touch the heart of Jake Shimabukuro’s fan base while enticing new listeners from across the musical spectrum.
Shimabukuro can still vividly remember the first time he held a ukulele, at age four. That first brush with musical fate took place in Honolulu, Hawai’i, where Jake was born and still makes his home. Growing up, he studied and played many other musical instruments—drums, piano and guitar. “But none of those instruments spoke to me the way the ukulele did,” he says.
“Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can’t see anybody else catching up with.”
Jake launched the Zeiterion’s Ukulele Orchestra – The Zukes – with a ukulele giveaway sponsored by Symphony Music Shop before his October 2014 performance.