"A Musical Hero" ~Rolling Stone
Please call the box office for student tickets: 256-6052.
The ukulele, with its humble four strings and modest two-octave range, is an instrument limited only by the imagination and creativity of the person playing it. Along with his own original compositions, Jake Shimabukuro became noted for his solo uke arrangements of such varied pieces as Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," Schubert's "Ave Maria" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."
"A lot of those are just songs that I really love," he says. "I'd sit at home and work out how to play some of them on the ukulele. A lot of it is for my own curiosity. I always wondered, 'Man, what would "Bohemian Rhapsody" sound like on a ukulele?' And then it's my stubborn nature not to give up until I'd figured out how to do it."
Widespread acclaim brought high-visibility collaborations with a wide range of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Michael McDonald, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Tommy Emmanuel, and Marty Friedman. Jake Shimabukuro has topped Billboard's World Music Chart on numerous occasions, and has sold out prestigious venues and festivals such as the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Sydney Opera House, Wolf Trap, Bonnaroo, SXSW, and the Playboy Jazz Festival. He even played for Queen Elizabeth II at The Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England.
Shimabukuro's busy touring schedule-140 dates a year-is complemented by a rich and varied catalog of albums that capture the many moods of the uke. His most recent CD, Nashville Sessions, is one of his most adventurous, multifaceted and engaging records to date, blending elements of jazz virtuosity with heartfelt melodicism.