Thursday, April 02, 2009
Tonight we saw a short concert by a ukulele master – and I’m not talking about typical ukulele music (conjuring dancing girls in hula skirts). While Jake Shimabukuro is indeed from Hawaii, the music he creates on the uku takes it far beyond what you’d imagine. In his hands, the ukulele sings, dances, and weeps. He does “rhythm raps,” fast, energetic strumming, and “pushes” the strings to get unusual effects, as well as caressing them gently, sweetly.
Shimabukuro performed pieces from his new CD, "Live", including Piano-Forte, Me & Shirley T, and Blue Roses Falling, which are his own excellent compositions. He also did a fantastic cover of George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps. (Hear him perform it here) In fact, this song helped catapult him into “musical fame”. At an outdoor concert several years ago, someone videoed him performing this piece and put it on YouTube. And people began contacting him...
The concert was at The Record Exchange, our local record/CD store. The crowd was much larger than anyone expected, and so most of us were standing in the aisles of CDs, and around the counters, straining to see him between those in front of us. As a result, my photos aren’t great, but it gives you a feel for the concert.