There are performers, and there are artist.
There is the Ukulele. There are people that play the Ukulele. Then there is Jake Shimabukuro. I got my first glimpse of Jake Shimabukuro years ago when I was browsing YouTube and came across a video of him playing in Central Park New York. He was playing a song written by George Harrison “While my Guitar Gently Weeps”. The way he played that song completely transformed my perception of the Ukulele. The beauty and complexity of the sounds that he was bringing out of the Ukulele were grander and more beautiful then a 34 string harp yet he managed to deliver it with the simplicity of a traditional Hawaiian Ukulele sound. The video went on to become a viral sensation and since then Jake Shimabukuro has been transforming the world of the Ukulele with mind-blowing renditions of familiar songs as well as creating beautiful and timeless original pieces. Jake Shimabukuro has transcended from performer, to artist, to virtuoso. We are lucky to live in times where we can see a musician who is truly the best of all time.
I got a chance to see Jake for the second time in my favorite music venue in San Diego – Anthology. The atmosphere of the club is picture perfect for a performer such as Jake. The acoustics, lighting and ambience is conducive to watching and listening to every single note; and Jake does not miss a single one seemingly playing on every fret and string of the Uke in every single song he performed. If you have a chance to watch Jake you will find that he is like no other. He is young, hip and brings a rock and roll attitude to every song while respecting the timeless tradition of Ukulele playing and his Hawaiian roots. Jake loves San Diego and has many friends and fans here. He has played at Anthology 5 times and I have seen two of those performances thankfully. After each show, Jake takes the time to meet with fans back stage, sign Ukulele’s, CD’s, T-Shirts and anything else they present. People come from all over the world to see his shows in San Diego – there were 5 people that flew from Japan to watch him at this show. I feel lucky to have only been required to make the short 10 mile drive to Downtown to catch the show. Every time I see him, I feel like I am watching history in the making – watching the greatest Ukulele artist ever to play.