Friday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m. – Hering Auditorium
Consider the humble ukulele. It’s an adaptation of a stringed instrument that traveled with Portuguese immigrants who came to work in the sugar cane fields of Hawaii. Islanders made the “machete” their own, mixing external influences of classical European music and Spanish guitar with Hawaiian songs. Native Hawaiians renamed the little machete the ukulele and it’s become synonymous with Hawaiian music and Hawaiian culture.
Jake Shimabukuro comes from that same process of mixing both island and outside influences, both modern and historical. He’s combined the qualities of a long line of virtuoso ukulele players with modern rock musicians to create a sound that’s uniquely his own but still firmly grounded in Hawaiian tradition.
Growing up in Hawaii, Jake’s influences include legendary ukulele players like Eddie Kamae, Ohta-San and Peter Moon. Jake also credits icons like Bruce Lee and Michael Jordan as a source of inspiration.
Known for his energetic strumming on the ukulele, Jake’s performance incorporates elements of thoughtful, sophisticated arrangements to spontaneous, improvised passages. In addition to his original compositions, his repertoire includes Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Schubert’s Ave Maria and Cohen’s Hallelujah.
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What Bela Fleck is to banjo, Jake is to the ukelele – a true virtuoso whose talent and popularity have little to do with this tiny guitar and everything to do with what a master can do with an approach that’s smashes the confines of his instrument. There is no where he can’t go and evidently nothing he can’t do. He’s been on our list for at least 8 years, is perhaps the artist we get the most requests for and we are so excited to bring him to Fairbanks at last! This is an opportunity not to be missed. -FCA