September 23, 2010 — Jake Shimabukuro, who The New Yorker calls a “phenomenon,” is recognized as one of the world’s most exciting and innovative ukulele players and composers. On January 4, 2011, he’ll continue to revolutionize the perception of the four-string, two-octave instrument with the release of new album ‘Peace Love Ukulele’ on Hitchhike Records, distributed through Mailboat Records. “The ukulele,” he says, “is the instrument of peace – and if everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place.”
Standout tracks on ‘Peace Love Ukulele’ include Shimabukuro’s compositions “Go For Broke,” a tribute to World War II veterans; “143,” from the numeric pager code for “I love you;” the high-octane “Bring Your Adz;” and his versions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the only solo ukulele arrangement on the CD. “Quite a challenge considering I had only 4 strings and 2 octaves to work with!” Shimabukuro says.
Shimabukuro’s lightning-fast fingers and revolutionary playing techniques defy categories: he plays rock, blues, funk, classical, bluegrass, folk, flamenco, and jazz, and has performed for the Queen of England and gigantic festival audiences all over the world, and recorded with artists as diverse as Yo-Yo Ma, Cyndi Lauper, Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Buffett and Bela Fleck. Shimabukuro also earned a standing ovation at 2010’s prestigious TED conference.
Shimabukuro’s version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has garnered over six million views on YouTube, watch it here:
Watch Shimabukuro perform “Bohemian Rhapsody” live on a recent trip to Japan:
Watch Shimabukuro’s interview with CNN at this year’s TED conference: