The humble ukulele has recently been enjoying a bit of a revival. From schools to the board room, this little four-stringed, two-octave instrument has been quietly creating a storm.
Now, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro is helping it to reach the world of film, and even Royalty!
Jake’s mother gave him his first ukulele lesson when he was 4 and he has been busily experimenting ever since. Having mastered techniques and styles incorporating jazz, flamenco and classical, he regularly tours the international stage.
Seen here playing Bohemian Rhapsody at TED 2010, with his lightening fingerwork he plays both original pieces and covers – by artists ranging from Bach to Michel Jackson.
Jake’s versatile sound is featured on Yo-Yo Ma’s holiday album, Songs of Joy and Peace, and Ziggy Marley’s Grammy Award-winning Love Is My Religion.
In addition, he is a spokesman for Music Is Good Medicine, a community outreach program that promotes healthy living through music. He has also composed scores for films: Hoot; Hula Girls – a hit Japanese film; and the Japanese version of Sideways. He has recently finished an album of Beatles covers, featuring a collaboration with Cyndi Lauper, which has been released in Japan. And he has even performed with Bette Midler in front of the Queen.
Is there no end to his versatility and talent!
Despite all this, he remains grounded and humble, stating: “I love what I do. I’m forever thankful to music.”
Let us know what you think of his rendition below. Or if you are inspired to have a go yourself, visit musicroom.com to view our ukulele selections.
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