Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Jimi Hendrix of the Ukulele

Jake Shimabukuro is a renowned fifth-generation Japanese American musician who has reshaped the public perception of the ukulele. Originating from Hawaii, Jake's music never remains confined to one specific musical category. He successfully plays jazz, funk, blues, classical, bluegrass, folk, flamenco and rock, all on a ukulele. As a musician, Jake serves as an iconoclast to the stereotypical Asian American image publicized in American pop culture.

Aside from several Hawaiian music awards, Jake has been an active promoter of US-Japan relations having served as an official promoter for Hawaii Tourism Japan (HTJ). He has also received an official commendation from the Japanese Foreign Minister for his grassroots work aimed at fostering ties between the American and Japanese people.

Jake has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and has toured with famous musicians such as Diana Kroll, Fiona Apple, Bobby McFerrin, Jamie Cullum and Blues Traveler. The energetic ukulele star was also featured on Ziggy Marley's album Love is My Religion.

Here are some music clips of Jake:

"Let's Dance" (Flamenco influenced track)

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (Homage to George Harrison)


You can find more of his music and clips on his personal website and YouTube.

YouTube Search

P.S. Since Jake Shimabukuro payed respect to The Beatles with "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", here is another YouTube treat featuring perhaps a future music star.

"Hey Jude"


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