Ukelele star to play at Strings |

Ukelele star to play at Strings

Acclaimed ukelele musician Jake Shimabukuro performs Friday at Strings in the Mountains Music Festival Park.

Jake Shimabukuro plays the ukulele – and, by all accounts, he rocks.

This innovative 29-year-old Honolulu native, called “the Jimi Hendrix of the Ukulele,” uses four strings and two octaves to tap an electrifying repertoire that spans from blues to bluegrass, funk to flamenco, classical to rock.

Already a superstar in Hawaii and Japan, the Shimabukuro secret is now out.

“Maybe when Jake goes back to Japan to perform he’ll let me open for him,” Jimmy Buffet said. “I would love that.”

Shimabukuro brings his ukulele to the Strings in the Mountains Music Festival at 8 p.m. Friday under the tent at Strings Music Festival Park.

Tickets are $25 and are available at Strings in the Mountains (879-5056 ext. 105).

Rock-star showmanship and lightning-fast technique have landed Shimabukuro at prestigious musical gatherings like the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Bumbershoot, plus appearances on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” “Etown,” National Public Radio and “Good Morning America.”

His musicianship has launched him into the affectionate graces of an acclaimed cast of musicians with whom he has toured and performed, including Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Bobby McFerrin, John Hiatt, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Fiona Apple, Diana Krall, Blues Traveler and String Cheese Incident.

Kaki King raves, “Jake can do more things with a tiny 4-string ukulele than some people can do with an 88-key piano. I feel blessed to know he’s out there in the world blowing people’s minds with that little thing.”

The Indianapolis Star proclaims that Shimabukuro “is advancing the ukulele the way Bela Fleck has advanced the banjo and Chris Thile (Nickel Creek) is advancing the mandolin.” Bela Fleck himself declares Shimabukuro “a really special musician” whose musical evolution he can’t wait to witness.

Frets Magazine said, “Jake’s show was an absolutely jaw-dropping instrumental performance. One of those experiences where after about 15 seconds you have the sense that you’re witnessing something huge. Something you’ll talk about for years.”

Shimabukuro’s appearance at Strings is presented by American Express. Sponsors are Bill and Marsha Link, The Steamboat Sheraton Resort & Conference Center. Supporting sponsors are Doug and Livvy Floren.

Listen to Jake Shimabukuro at Click on “Listen to Streaming Music from Different Tempo.”

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