PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – He’s been called the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele, and for good reason. What Jake Shimabukuro can do with the tiny four string instrument is absolutely amazing and beautiful, and his abilities have garnered him international acclaim from fans and contemporaries in the music industry.
Shimabukuro’s last album, “Peace, Love, Ukulele,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard World Charts in 2011, and his newest album, “Grand Ukulele,” is even more ambitious.
Produced with legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons, best known for his work on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and the Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” includes renditions of Sting’s “Fields of Gold” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”
KDKA-AM’s Larry and John talk to Shimabukuro about his new album and the appeal of the ukulele. Shimabukuro talked about how he’s made it big with this small instrument.
“That’s why I like playing the ukulele,” says Shimabukuro. “It makes me look bigger.”
Shimabukuro has become famous for playing amazing renditions of popular music, like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
“This was definitely one of the more complex arrangements that I’ve ever come up with for the ukulele,” says Shimabukuro. “But it was so much fun trying to capture the spirit and essence of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on four strings. That’s what I love about the instrument.”
And Jake is still having fun while taking his Hawaiian music to the world.
“I’m able to travel and do concerts, and I’m loving it.”
“Grand Ukulele” is available now, and you can check out a PBS documentary on Shimabukuro called “Life on Four Strings” on May 10.