About Jake Shimabukuro

Meet Jake Shimabukuro

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.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jake’s life has always centered on the ukulele. He started playing at the age of four, urged by his mother who also played.

Jake began his music career in the mid-90’s, performing at local coffee shops as a sideman with his first band, Pure Heart. But Jake’s solo career began in 2002 when he signed with Epic Records, becoming the first ukulele player to sign with Sony Music. While his well-received solo releases positioned Jake as an established musician in Hawaii and Japan, his career skyrocketed when a cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on YouTube with more than 13 million views, opening the rest of the world’s eyes to Jake and his unique playing style.

In the years since the YouTube clip aired, Jake has collaborated with an array of artists that include Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Michael McDonald, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, Tommy Emmanuel, and Lyle Lovett – as well as orchestras around the world. He’s sold out world-class venues, played at Bonnaroo, SXSW, the Playboy Jazz Festival, Fuji Rock Festival, the influential TED conference, and even performed for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England.

He has topped Billboard’s World Music Chart numerous times, been declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine, which also stated: “one of the hottest axemen of the past few years doesn’t actually play guitar.” He has also won accolades from the disparate likes of Eddie Vedder who states: “Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can’t see anybody else catching up with;” been talked about by Perez Hilton and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, wowed audiences on national TV with appearances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Today Show,” and along the way has earned comparisons to musical innovators such as Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. Jake has been the subject of an award winning documentary “Jake Shimabukuro: Life On Four Strings,” currently on Netflix.

Jake also travels to schools around the world and spreads positive messages to young people, encouraging them to find their passion and live drug-free.

Although he is constantly touring, playing 140 shows a year, Jake and his family continue to make Hawaii their home.

Currently Jake is in the recording studio working on a new album that’s expected to be released late summer 2015.

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Recent News & Updates

4th Annual Jake Shimabukuro & Friends Concert

Tickets available for 4th Annual Jake Shimabukuro & Friends Concert!

Jake’s acclaimed hometown show is back —the 4th Annual Jake Shimabukuro & Friends Concert is a show celebrating his career, which was rooted by his upbringing, both personally and musically,...

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Ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro will be previewing selections from Travels

Ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro will be previewing selections from Travels, his forthcoming studio album, on his global tour — which has kicked off in August and continues into 2016 with...

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Turnaround-Arts-Hawaii-13 copy

Photos from Jake at the Kalihi Kai Elementary School!

Had a blast at Kalihi Kai Elementary School last week for the Turnaround Arts Kickoff assembly! Looking forward to a great year of creative learning

Jake Shimabukuro 2015 Tour

05 Oct 2015 Kyoto, Japan Kuretake Culture Center Kuretake Culture Center Buy ticket
06 Oct 2015 Osaka, Japan Sankei Breeze Hall Sankei Breeze Hall Buy ticket
07 Oct 2015 Shiga, Japan Biwako Hall Biwako Hall Buy ticket
10 Oct 2015 Denver, CO ( USA ) Boettcher Concert Hall with Colorado Symphony Boettcher Concert Hall with Colorado Symphony Buy ticket
11 Oct 2015 St. Paul, MN ( USA ) Fitzgerald Center Fitzgerald Center Buy ticket
13 Oct 2015 Franklin, TN ( USA ) Franklin Theatre Franklin Theatre Buy ticket
14 Oct 2015 Skokie, IL ( USA ) North Shore Center North Shore Center Buy ticket
15 Oct 2015 Springfield, MO ( USA ) Juanita K. Hammons Hall Juanita K. Hammons Hall Buy ticket
16 Oct 2015 St. Louis, MO ( USA ) Sheldon Concert Hall Sheldon Concert Hall Buy ticket
17 Oct 2015 Iowa City, IA ( USA ) The Englert Theatre The Englert Theatre Buy ticket
18 Oct 2015 Kansas City, MO ( USA ) Kauffman Center Kauffman Center Buy ticket
20 Oct 2015 Bozeman, MT ( USA ) Emerson Center Emerson Center Buy ticket
21 Oct 2015 Caldwell, ID ( USA ) Caldwell Fine Arts of Caldwelll Caldwell Fine Arts of Caldwelll Buy ticket
22 Oct 2015 Wenatchee, WA ( USA ) Numerica Performing Arts Center Numerica Performing Arts Center Buy ticket
23 Oct 2015 Seattle, WA ( USA ) Paramount Theatre Paramount Theatre Buy ticket
24 Oct 2015 Bellingham, WA ( USA ) Mount Baker Theatre Mount Baker Theatre Buy ticket
25 Oct 2015 Portland, OR ( USA ) Aladdin Theater Aladdin Theater Buy ticket
26 Oct 2015 Medford, OR ( USA ) Craterian Theater Craterian Theater Buy ticket
27 Oct 2015 Arcata, CA ( USA ) Van Duzer Theatre Van Duzer Theatre Buy ticket
28 Oct 2015 Red Bluff, CA ( USA ) State Theatre For The Arts State Theatre For The Arts Buy ticket
29 Oct 2015 Malibu, CA ( USA ) Smothers Theatre Smothers Theatre Buy ticket
31 Oct 2015 San Diego, CA ( USA ) Humphrey’s Concert By The Bay Humphrey’s Concert By The Bay Buy ticket
05 Nov 2015 Tarrytown, NY ( USA ) Tarrytown Music Hall Tarrytown Music Hall Buy ticket
06 Nov 2015 Albany, NY ( USA ) The College of Saint Rose Massry Center for The Arts The College of Saint Rose Massry Center for The Arts Buy ticket
07 Nov 2015 Buffalo, NY ( USA ) Kleinhans Music Hall with Buffalo Symphony, performing the Concerto by Dr. Yasui Kleinhans Music Hall with Buffalo Symphony, performing the Concerto by Dr. Yasui Buy ticket
08 Nov 2015 Buffalo, NY ( USA ) Kleinhans Music Hall with Buffalo Symphony, performing the Concerto by Dr. Yasui Kleinhans Music Hall with Buffalo Symphony, performing the Concerto by Dr. Yasui Buy ticket
09 Nov 2015 Hanover, New Hampshire ( USA ) Hopkins Center Hopkins Center Buy ticket
10 Nov 2015 New York, NY ( USA ) Concert Hall @ NY Society For Ethical Culture Concert Hall @ NY Society For Ethical Culture Buy ticket
11 Nov 2015 Durham, North Carolina ( USA ) The Carolina Theatre The Carolina Theatre Buy ticket
12 Nov 2015 Kiawah Island, South Carolina ( USA ) Earl Klugh’s Weekend of Jazz Earl Klugh’s Weekend of Jazz Buy ticket
13 Nov 2015 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL ( USA ) Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Buy ticket
14 Nov 2015 Miami, FL ( USA ) Miami-Dade County Auditorium Miami-Dade County Auditorium Buy ticket
15 Nov 2015 West Palm Beach, FL ( USA ) Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Buy ticket
16 Nov 2015 Melbourne, FL ( USA ) King Center King Center Buy ticket
17 Nov 2015 Clearwater, FL ( USA ) Capitol Theatre Capitol Theatre Buy ticket
18 Nov 2015 Orlando, FL ( USA ) The Plaza Live The Plaza Live Buy ticket
19 Nov 2015 Panama City, FL ( USA ) Marina Civic Center Marina Civic Center Buy ticket
20 Nov 2015 Atlanta, GA ( USA ) Robert Ferst Theatre Robert Ferst Theatre Buy ticket
21 Nov 2015 Austin, TX ( USA ) Bass Concert Hall Bass Concert Hall Buy ticket
09 Dec 2015 Kamuela, Hawaii ( USA ) Kahilu Theatre Kahilu Theatre Buy ticket
11 Dec 2015 Kahului, HI ( USA ) Maui Arts & Cultural Center Maui Arts & Cultural Center Buy ticket
12 Dec 2015 Honolulu, HI ( USA ) Hawaii Theatre ( 4th Annual Jake Shimabukuro & Friends Concert) Hawaii Theatre ( 4th Annual Jake Shimabukuro & Friends Concert) Buy ticket
06 Feb 2016 Anchorage, AK ( USA ) Atwood Concert Hall Atwood Concert Hall Buy ticket
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