Ukulele master, Jake Shimabukuro is often referred to as the Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix or Bruce Lee of his craft and he will be bringing his four-string, two-octave instrument to the Tower Theatre in Bend on March 15.
A Honolulu, Hawaii native, Shimabukuro is a ukulele virtuoso, composer, spokesperson, inspirational speaker and philanthropist. His awe-inspiring music ranges from jazz, blues and rock to bluegrass, classical and folk and he captivates crowds around the world with an out-of-the-box blend of stunning virtuosity, deep musicality and a natural entertainer’s flair. Jake Shimabukuro is known for his energetic strumming on the ukulele and for incorporating elements of thoughtful, sophisticated arrangements to spontaneous, improvised passages.
His career skyrocketed after he uploaded a cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps on to YouTube and since then Jake has collaborated with an array of artists that include Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Michael McDonald, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, Tommy Emmanuel and Lyle Lovett – as well as orchestras around the world. Jake has sold out world-class venues, such as Bonnaroo, SXSW, the Playboy Jazz Festival, Fuji Rock Festival, the influential TED conference and has performed for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England.
He has also been featured on shows such as Conan, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, NBC’s The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, NPR, PBS, A Prairie Home Companion, PBS Sprout, Hawaii Five-O and is the subject of an award winning documentary, Jake Shimabukuro: Life On Four Strings currently on Netflix.
He has topped Billboard’s World Music Chart numerous times, been declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine, which also stated: “one of the hottest axmen of the past few years doesn’t actually play guitar.”
Although Jake is constantly touring playing 140 shows a year, he has recently been in the recording studio working on a new album that’s expected to be released late summer 2015.