Ukelele genius Jake Shimabukuro is making quite a stir in the jazz world. Among achievements, he was featured at last fall's Monterey Jazz Festival and in January released> Heart, Peace, Love, Ukulele on Hitchhike Records. He is currently on a nationwide tour and will be featured in Orange County,. March 4, at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Cosa Mesa, California.
Born in 1976 in, he has become a virtuoso on this unlikely jazz instrument. Known for his complex finger work, his music also bring in of rock and pop which adds to his phenomenal crowd appeal.
Playing ukelele since age 4, he initially gained attention in Hawaii at 22 as a member of Pure Heart trio when the group released its eponymous first album, Their first album won them four Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (the Hawaiian counterpart of the Grammy Awards).
Later, as a solo artist, he experimented with using unusual pedal effects to make new sounds that few would associate with an ukulele.
In 2009, he gave a break-out performance accompanying Hawaiian-born Bette Midler at the Royal Variety Performance in England as they performed a rendition of the Beatles song In My Life."