Who is Jake Shimabukuro?

Jake Shimabukuro
A ukulele interpretation of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", the famous Beatles song written by George Harrison. A video with 16.5 million views on Youtube. A virtuoso American musician of the traditional Hawaiian plucked string instrument. You will surely have guessed, it is indeed the great Jake Shimabukuro.

Jake is one of those talented artists whose fame has been amplified thanks to the Internet. However, if the ukulele player owes a large part of his reputation to the web, it must be admitted that it was also thanks to his unwavering passion for music that he was able to chain festivals. But who is Jake Shimabukuro really? What about his musical journey?

The "Jimi Hendrix" of the ukulele

Shimabukuro started learning to play the ukulele when he was very young. He received his first ukulele from his mother, an accomplished artist, at the age of 4. Seduced by the melodious sound of the string instrument, little Jake spent most of his time hanging on his ukulele. Supervised by his mother and thanks to years of lessons under Tami Akiyami at Roy Sakuma Studios, he very quickly developed his talents as a musician. It only took a few years to become one of the big names on the Hawaiian music scene. Indeed, after six "Na Hoku Hanohano Awards" (including five awarded to Pure Heart, the first group to which it belongs), Shimabukuro has become a real reference in the world of Jazz in general, and that of the ukulele in particular. The artist is distinguished by the way he handles his Kamaka tenor ukulele which, it should be remembered in passing, was custom made. This somewhat peculiar style earned him the nickname "Jimi Hendrix" of the ukulele. For the record, the ukulele brand Kamaka, in tribute to the talent of this great man, has decided to launch a whole line of instruments that bear his signature.

An exceptional journey

Jake Shimabukuro's international career really started after he signed a recording contract with Epic Records International (Sony Music Japan international) in 2002. This collaboration has allowed him to make himself known in Japan through several albums. By creating his own label "Hitchhike Records", the artist also had the opportunity to release four albums in the United States by performing renowned titles such as Sunday Morning and CrossCurrent. After his video with 16.5 million views on Youtube in 2006, Shimabukuro received requests for collaboration from many renowned musicians such as Ziggy Marley and Jimmy Buffett. From 2009 to 2012, international tours followed one another for the Hawaiian ukulele player. Prizes add up: Hawaii Music, Na Hoku Hanohano Award, etc. A film, titled "Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings" that chronicles Shimabukuro's life and career, has even been made.

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