Jake Shimabukuro performs Oct. 12 in Poway
By Emily Sorensen
Poway will get to enjoy something a little different when Jake Shimabukuro rolls into town 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 to perform a concert at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, part of the POW! Foundation’s Fall 2012 performing arts series.
Often compared to Yo Yo Ma, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, Shimabukuro is sure to provide the audience with a concert of ukulele music they are sure to be surprised by.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Shimabukuro began playing the ukulele at the age of 4, taught by his mother, a fellow ukulele player (his father, also musical, played the guitar). One of his reasons for deciding to play the ukulele was the importance of the instrument to Hawaiian culture, Shimabukuro said in an email interview.
More than just traditional ukulele music, Shimabukuro spends his time pushing the limits of what people perceive the ukulele being capable of, performing fully arranged versions of concert classics like the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
He released his first album, in early 2011, and on Oct. 2, celebrated the release of his second album, “Grand Ukulele,” for which he is embarking on a 40-city tour.
“This will be my first official tour with a bus and crew. We’ll be touring through about 40 cities for the release of the new record. Looking forward to it!” Shimabukuro said.
His new album was a step up for Shimabukuro, who said he got to work with a number of talented musicians on it.
“I had a great time recording this new album,” he said. “I got to work with Alan Parsons, who produced it, a 29-piece orchestra, Kip Winger who did the orchestral arrangements for three tunes, and a wonderful rhythm section composed of Simon Phillips (drummer for Toto) and Randy Tico. There’s a good balance of solo ukulele arrangements to fully orchestrated pieces. Everything was played live — there are no overdubs on this record.”
His Oct. 12 concert in Poway will feature mostly songs from his newly released album, including four covers, Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep,” Sting’s “Fields Of Gold,” “Over The Rainbow,” and a traditional Hawaiian piece called “Akaka Falls.”
The rest of the songs on his new album are original compositions. Shimabukuro said that as his musical style evolves, he’s spending more time composing his own music. “That’s always a challenge. It’s very difficult to write interesting melodies,” said Shimabukuro.
The Poway Center for the Performing Arts is located at 15498 Espola Road. Tickets for Shimabukuro’s concert range from $30 – $40, and are available by calling the PCPA box office at 858-748-0505 or visiting powaycenter.com.
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