Last Saturday, my girlfriend Nico invited me to check out a show at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz. She received 2 free tickets to see Jake Shimabukuro, who is one of the best Ukalele players in the world. At first I was thinking "I like Hawaiian music, but can I take a whole concert of a solo ukalele artist? And how complex can a ukalele get?"
As soon as I hear Jake play, my eyebrows flew off my face. Especially when he covered Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. He redefines the sound of a 4 string 2 octave ukalele and takes this instrument to a whole new level. Jake has earned comparison to the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. Listening to him live was like taking a trip around the world.
Jake Shimabukuro was raised in Hawaii and began playing the Ukalele at the age of 4. Starting with traditional Hawaiian music, Jake later started listening to Rock, top 40's and all other genres of music. Although he would get inspiration from hearing Van Halen or Hendrix tunes, his biggest influences are not musicians. Bruce Lee and Bill Cosby are his biggest influences. “Bruce Lee’s philosophy on martial arts was that it was simply a form of human expression,” says Jake. “And he didn’t believe in sticking to one ‘style.’ He studied all forms and was open to everything. And Bill Cosby – now here was a performer who just sat in a chair with a microphone, and brought joy to millions with his stories. He connects with an audience like no other.”
For more information about Jake Shimabukuro go to http://jakeshimabukuro.com/home/