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     Shimabukuro, Jake (3rd November 1976-Present)

    He is a virtuoso ukulele player born in Honolulu, Hawaii, who was first given lessons when he was four years old by his mother and then took official classes.  He was also a drummer in his high school marching band.  As he became more adept and the years went on he began to use guitar pedals for effect and began creating new sounds and has since been called "Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele".  He began by performing in a cafi in Honolulu, became a member of the group Pure Heart in 1998 and after gaining recognition he signed a solo deal with Epic Records in 2002.  Later, in 2005, he signed a deal for his Hitchhike Records label to be distributed in the United States.  His cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by George Harrison, which he performed in Central Park, gained him international recognition when a video of his performance was aired on the internet.  CD recordings he features on include his own Crosscurrent, Dragon, and Gently Weeps and Take the Weather With You by Jimmy Buffett, Little Worlds by Bela Fleck and  the Grammy Award winner Love is My Religion by Ziggy Marley.  Performing concerts all over America and also at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan he manages to attract large audiences.  From 2005 to 2007 he toured with Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band and made an appearance with them on The Late Show With Conan O,Brien and was also a performer on tour with Bela Fleck & The Flecktones in 2002, 2005 and 2006.   A small selection of other artists and groups he has worked with during the course of his career include Fiona Apple, Stephen Bishop, Stanley Clarke, Tommy Emmanuel, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, Diana Krall, Bobby McFerrin and Les Paul.  In the movies he is the writer of the score for the Japanese movie Hula Girl and he has released the instructional DVD Play Loud Ukulele.  Outside of his main musical projects he was chosen to be a spokesman for Hawaii Tourism Japan, which is aiming to market Hawaii to Japan, has been named a goodwill ambassador for Hawaii, was honoured with the Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation and in 2006 was given the position of Okinawa-Uchina Ambassador.  In the world of musical education he regularly visits schools to talk about music and perform for the students.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.jakeshimabukuro.com/?t=bio
    2. http://www.myspace.com/officialjakeshimabukuro
    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jake_Shimabukuro
    4. http://www.guitarplayer.com/article/jake-shimabukuro/sep-05/13510
    5. http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Jake%20Shimabukuro:1808661711
    6. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:wbfixqr0ldae~T4

     

    Here he is playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"...

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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