Jake Shimabukuro was born on November, 3rd, 1976 in Honolulu, Hawaii. At the age of four his mother gave him a Ukulele and he was instantly in love with the instrument and with it he has become one of the worlds best Ukulele Virtuosos.
His Ukulele skills are inspiring and absolutely amazing, he plays with so much austere, skill and talent that he is taking the Ukulele and banjo playing world by storm. I herald his skills as nothing short of Genius.
Jake became an internet hit when he placed up a video on YouTube of his rendition of George Harrison's song While My Guitar Gently Weeps. He played the song with absolute brilliance and achieved worldwide praise for it. The YouTube video, shown below, has achieved over eleven million views so far...It has also generated 74,174 likes and 800 dislikes, at time of writing...who are these 800?
Jake Shimabukuro's style and inspirations come from many of the great musicians and talents of the world including Robert Plant, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Eddie Van Halen, Carlos Santana and even the Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee to name but a few. Jakes music is played with elements of Jazz, Blues, Rock and Roll, Pop and Hawaiian styles, which enchantingly intermingle.
His Ukulele playing as a fast as it is exciting. All the notes ring out with shear melody, harmony, grace and love of sound.
Jake initially gained publicity in Hawaii in 1998 as a member of the trio band Pure Heart with Lopaka Colon on percussion and Jon Yamasato on guitar. Jake worked at a music store in Honolulu when the group released their debut album 'Pure Heart'.
A year later they released Pure Heat 2 and it was this album that earned them a 'Hoku' award for Island Contemporary Album of the year. The group continued to perform together until the summer of 2000 when Jake decided to pursue his musical career by going solo.
Epic Records International/Sony Music International got Jake to sign with them in 2002 and he became the first Ukulele player from Hawaii to get a contract with them. In 2005 Jake secured a U.S. distribution deal for his own HitchHike Records label.
Jake has become a household name in Japan with his records and musical talent getting the exposure that they richly deserve. The State of Hawaii in particular have named Jake as a good will Ambassador to Japan and has received 'The Japanese Foreign Ministers Commendation Award' for being a forward entertainer that has helped US-Japanese relations.
In 2002 -2005 and 2006 Jake toured with Bela Fleck & The Fleckstones and recorded on the bands Album Little Words. Ziggy Marley's 2006 album Love is My Religion also featured contributions from Jake and the movie Hoot produced by Jimmy Buffet saw Jake adding to the soundtrack.
When Japans Independent Film board released the film Hula Girl Jake was asked to write and play the soundtrack which was a tremendous acknowledgement for his skill and talents.
Below are listed all of Jakes current works.
Jake Shimaburuko is a world renowned Ukulele Virtuoso and lets hope that he plans on continuing to write and play music in his inimitable style for the world to enjoy.
His love of music and his ability to create such wonderful sound is truly awe-inspiring and I personally wish him the very best of luck in all his endeavours.
Page created August 4th 2007. Updated November 15th 2012