Amazing Jake... How Sweet the Sound!
If you’ve never had the distinct pleasure of being in the presence of a master of something, a true master, then give yourself an evening, or maybe a week, of musical magic with The Divine Uke Master Jake Shimabukuro. You will thank me after you see this uke afficionado at the MACC on the Garden Isle of Maui, or with Jake’s musical friends in the Mediterranean on a Dave Koz cruise, or at the nearest venue he’s playing if you’re on the mainland. I can personally testify that you will be convinced you’re hearing angels, Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix during a performance by Jake.
Armed only with a seemingly defenseless ukulele, (that’s Hawaiian for ukelele), Jake is a revolution in the music world. He created techniques that allow him to take that little ukelele and make it sound like animals, other instruments and angelic beings, all while quantum leaping the audience through musical time, weaving a heavenly experience of old world classical, (hawaiian, oriental and western), into jazz, blues, rock, pop and new age, all in one night.
We brought our 2 week old baby to the performance, (she actually slept oh-so-very peacefully at last), and I realized that sometimes God gives us a gift from the heavens and this string avatar is just that, not solely for his finger talent, but also his personality. He is as playful as a child and it shows in his performance. As a matter of fact he is so fun, it’s contagious. You can’t help smiling when he tells his stories and works his way into the next set.
And how could it not be with his major influences being Bill Cosby, Bruce Lee and Michael Jordan? Oddly enough, not one of them is famous for music but for other talents which have had great influence on Jake’s music. Jake was mesmerized by how Bill Cosby told great stories; Bruce Lee studied all kinds of martial arts as a form of human expression, which is what made him so powerful; and Michael Jordan’s focused and flawless game being played in the most effortless way.
And he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks it too. MIGM , (Music Is Good Medicine), is Jake’s non-profit focused on “using the power of music to heal, influence and inspire” and create positive change in the world. He’s the kind of star we all would want to be if given the chance. He’s the kind of star you wish most other stars were like. His talent has been noticed in the upper echelons of the music world and he has graced the stage with some musical giants over the last ten years or so since he began touring North America and Japan, but still remains humble and happy.
Jake’s most recent work was recently nominated for Hawaii’s 2012 Na Hoku Hanohano Award in the categories of Single of the Year - "Amazing Grace", Instrumental Album of the Year - "Peace Love Ukulele", and Favorite Entertainer of the Year. It makes one wonder why he hasn’t garnered a Grammy... yet. Perhaps he will and tickets will become dear. So, while you might still have a chance to get an affordable ticket, go... go and see for yourself, or rather hear for yourself, because you’re going to rediscover music and love every moment of it.
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