In preparation for its 2019 Summer Festival – HPAF’s Fifteenth Anniversary Season – Executive Director Justin John Moniz welcomes ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro back to the Big Island to kick off this year’s momentous occasion. Praised by the New York Times as a “master of the ukulele,” Jake Shimabukuro is no stranger to Big Island audiences. His heartfelt and captivating performances have cultivated quite the following both locally and worldwide.
We are really thrilled to be presenting Jake again this season, says Moniz. Jake is one of the most exceptional and innovative ukulele players of our time, and has agreed to return for our annual scholarship fundraiser. All proceeds from his performance will assist aspiring young artists from Hawai’i Island, as well as those worldwide, to study and perform during HPAF’s 2019 Summer Festival.
If You Go
The Hawaii Performing Arts Festival will present Jake Shimabukuro in concert on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 2:00pm at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort [62-100 Kauna’ao Dr, Waimea, HI]. Tickets are $85.00 (General) and $100.00 (Premium) and are available for purchase by visiting: http://www.hawaiiperformingartsfestival.org/upcoming-events/
About Jake Shimabukuro
Almost everyone in Hawaii has strummed a ukulele at one time or another. But at the age of 14, Jake Shimabukuro realized that he was doing something a little different with the four-stringed instrument – OK, a lot different.
Shimabukuro’s wholly unique approach to the ukulele started early. As a youngster growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, Shimabukuro started playing the instrument at the age of four, learning the basics from his mother, Carol, and then developing his craft further by studying the likes of musical masters such as Eddie Kamae, Ohta-San and Peter Moon. As he matured, Shimabukuro also found inspiration from guitar players, drummers, pianists, and singers. Even athletes helped fuel the intensity of his artistic fire.
In 2005, Shimabukuro’s touring career really came to life with a video on YouTube. “I didn’t even know what YouTube was at the time, so I was totally surprised when people started telling me they’d seen a video of me playing ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,'” he says. “Before I got a chance to check it out myself, the video had gone viral and a lot of music industry folks seemed to know about it. It was crazy!” Shimabukuro’s deeply beautiful and original take on George Harrison’s love ballad, one which captured colors and moods never associated with the ukulele before, opened the floodgates – now legions of new music lovers had to hear this instrumental marvel – and the 2006 release of Gently Weeps (produced by Mac McAnally), which mixed his own originals with equally adventurous versions of “Ave Maria” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” was an unqualified success.
Photos courtesey of Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.