Jake Shimabukuro (she-ma-BOOkoo-row) is becoming recognized as one of the world’s top ukulele (oo-koo-LAY-lay) musicians. Renowned for lightning-fast fingers and revolutionary playing techniques, Jake views the ukulele as an “untapped source of music
with unlimited potential.” His virtuosity defies label or category. Playing jazz, blues, funk, classical, bluegrass, folk, flamenco, and rock, Jake’s mission is to show everyone that the ukulele is capable of so much more than only the traditional Hawaiian music many associate it. At just four years of age, Jake's mother gave him his first lesson.
Experimenting with various guitar effect pedals allows Jake to create sounds never thought possible on the tiny four-string, two-octave instrument. A true showman, his performance captivates audiences with intricate strumming and plucking, electrifying, high-energy grooves and smooth, melodic ballads evoking heartfelt emotion. Evolving from the heavily amplified riffs that earned Jake the reputation as “Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele,” now Jake masterfully extracts the pure “clean” natural acoustic sound of the uke, delicately making a single note smile or cry on his new solo album Gently Weeps (HITCHHIKE RECORDS 1105).
Touring with Jimmy Buffett in 2005, 2006 and 2007 gave Jake the experience of a lifetime, regularly exposing his virtuosity and amazing stage presence to crowds of over 50,000. Jake’s first national television performance came in December 2005 on NBC’s The Late Show with Conan O'Brien. In June 2002, Jake became the first ukulele player from Hawaii to sign with Epic Records International/Sony Music International. Three years later, Jake obtained a U.S. distribution deal for his HITCHHIKE RECORDS label. Selection as the spokesman three years in a row for Hawaii Tourism Japan’s (HTJ) aggressive campaign to market Hawaii to Japan, as well as his frequent tours of the island nation, have made Jake Shimabukuro a household name in Japan. "Rainbow," a track from Walking Down Rainhill, was selected as HTJ’s theme song as well as the official Honolulu Marathon theme song in 2004. In 2006, Gently Weeps track “Beyond the Break” was selected as the Marathon’s theme song and was played as Jake crossed the finish line upon completion of his first marathon run.
He plans to continue recording, performing, collaborating, and staying happy. “I love what I do. I’m forever thankful for music.”