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Jake Shimabukuro – Musician Profile – Hula News

Jake Shimabukuro - Musician Profile - Hula News

Jake Shimabukuro, Danny Clinch photoshoot - photo retrieved from www.jakeshimabukuro.com on 3-8-12

 

Jake Shimabukuro (born November 3, 1976 in Honolulu, Hawai’i) is a ukulele virtuoso known for his complex finger work. His music combines elements of jazz and rock. Shimabukuro's mother gave him a ukulele at age four, and he quickly took an interest in the instrument. A fifth generation Japanese-American, Shimabukuro initially gained attention in Hawai’i in 1998 as a member of Pure Heart, a trio with Lopaka Colon (percussion), and Jon Yamasato (guitar). Shimabukuro was working at a music store in Honolulu when the group released its eponymous first album, featuring a sound and style somewhat similar to the Ka’au Crater

Boys. Their first album won them four Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (the Hawaiian counterpart of the Grammy Awards): Island

Page 3 ‘Ekolu
Contemporary Album of the Year, Most Promising Artist(s), Album of the Year and Favorite Entertainment of the Year, the latter determined by unrestricted public vote.

The following year, they released Pure Heart 2, which earned them another Hoku award for Island Contemporary Album of the year. Yamasato informed the others that he was quitting the group via a newspaper story that ran in the Honolulu Advertiser on Thanksgiving Day, and Shimabukuro and Colon formed another group, Colon, which they named in honor of Colon's father, famed percussionist Augie Colon. The new guitarist was Guy Cruz, younger brother of the Ka’au Crater Boys' Ernie Cruz, Jr., and John Cruz. Colon won the Hoku Award for Favorite Entertainer of the Year in 2001, after which Shimabukuro decided to pursue a solo career.

As a solo artist after the break-up of Colon he experimented with using effect pedals to make new sounds that few would associate with an ukulele. He has released an instructional DVD called Play Loud Ukulele, and in 2006, composed the music to the Japanese film Hula Girls, which featured hula dancing and a Hawaiian spa resort as its primary theme and setting respectively.

Shimabukuro also performed on stage with Jimmy Buffett and his group, The Coral Reefer Band and is featured on Buffett's CD/DVD release, Live in Anguilla. In November 2009, Shimabukuro accompanied fellow Hawaiian-born Bette Midler at the Royal Variety Show. They performed a rendition of the Beatles song "In My Life" as the first of Midler's three-song set.

Jake is the key spokesman for the "Music is Good Medicine" organization, which uses community outreach programs - and visits to schools, senior centers, and hospitals - to emphasize the importance of a healthy life and mind as well as promoting music and the arts. Shimabukuro plays a custom-made 4 string tenor ukulele from Kamaka Ukulele. He uses a Line 6 Pod XT Live.

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The above post is an excerpt from the Halau Hula O Na Makana Pua March newsletter.
For more great hula news, Hawaiian history, recipes and so much more, sign up for the full newsletter by emailing Jan at huladancers@c-zone.net.

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