Monday, January 24, 2011

Spotlight on Jake Shimabukuro

If you haven't heard of Jake Shimabukuro yet, you need to check him out.  Even if you missed his stellar recent performance at Brooklyn Bowl, his website notes that you can still catch him Monday morning on Good Day New York, on Fox, at 9:50 a.m., or in the evening on New York Nightly News on NBC, at 7:30 p.m.

This talented ukulele player, born and bred in Hawaii, rose to fame when this video of him playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," or as some now refer to it, "While My Ukulele Gently Weeps," went viral.  Jake's musical magic lies in his ability to take classical guitar music such as the famous Beatles/George Harrison tune and give it new meaning by soulfully plucking and strumming away on his ukulele, no lyrics needed.  His technique is especially unique as, while he is playing the instrument, he often utilizes classical guitar picking, rather than typical uke form.  

At his Brooklyn Bowl show last Thursday, January 20, Jake stated that he had been playing ukulele since he was four years old, taking after his mother, who also played the native Hawaiian instrument.  Besides turning the music of others into ukulele masterpieces, Jake also composes his own songs, and recently released his newest album, Peace Love Ukulele. Peace Love Ukulele contains some of these original compositions, as well as some of the cover songs that contributed to his fame.  

Stand out performances at Thursday's show, besides Weeps, included Hallelujah and Bohemian Rhapsody.  At only $5 per ticket, Brooklyn Bowl was packed with uke fans, and I am certain that none left disappointed.  

To read a full review of Jake's Brooklyn Bowl show from The NY Times, click here.


  1. And he just did a TED performance, which is how I came to know about him. Great stuff.

  2. Thanks, Ed! For those interested, here's a video of Jake at TED: