Famous Hawaiian ukelele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro is coming to The Westcott Theater on Sunday, December 2nd at 8:00 p.m. “Ukelele virtuoso?” you may be saying–but Shimabukuro is the real deal. If you’re expecting a bunch of Hawaiian surfer tunes you’re far off the mark. Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is just one example of the unexpected songs Jake plays on the tiny, four-stringed instrument. You should definitely take this opportunity to see him live.
Mr. Shimabukuro is a Hawaii-born fifth generation Japanese-American who began with the ukelele at age four. This early interest and many year long pursuit led Shimabukuro to the top of a genre where he is essentially the only star. While his learnings began in traditional Hawaiian playing, his current music is anything but traditional. As part of a three-piece called Pure Heart, Shimabukuro won major awards in the Hawaiian version of the Grammys. He also has several videos of note available on YouTube.
As I said, this isn’t going to be your average ukelele concert. Jake plays over the genres of jazz, blues, funk, rock, classical, and more. He plays modern hits as well as classics, all reworked for this very simple instrument. His renditions include (but aren’t limited to) Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” George Harrison’s “As My Guitar Gently Weeps,” Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Ave Maria,” MJ’s “Thriller,” and many others. He also has an extensive collection of his own original music, which showcases his pure talent and hard-earned virtuosity for the ukelele. Shimabukuro’s work is incredibly complex and full of finesse on a level you must see to believe.
He has been written up in Rolling Stone, has some serious rankings in Billboard’s World Chart, and has an astonishing eleven albums according to his Wikipedia page. He’s played with the likes of Jimmy Buffet (among others) and his newest album, Grand Ukelele, brings in the production and engineering talents of Alan Parsons. Fellow ukelele player and frontman of Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder claims that, “Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can’t see anybody else catching up with.” When else are you going to see a ukelele god in ‘Cuse?
Don’t miss out!
Jake Shimabukuro in Syracuse
Sunday, December 2nd at 8:00 p.m.
The Westcott Theater
524 Westcott Street (Directions)
BUY TICKETS NOW – from $25 – general admission, $35 – seated admission.
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