The ukulele has enjoyed a newfound respect in the music world over the past several years, with legends such as Paul McCartney and Eddie Vedder playing the small Hawaiian instrument onstage.
Music fans in Poway will soon be able to see a “uke” player that has drawn comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen, no small feat while playing an instrument with only four strings.
Jake Shimabukuro will appear at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 12, just 10 days after the release of his new CD, “Grand Ukulele.” The CD was produced by Alan Parsons, who was at the helm during the recording of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and The Beatles’ “Abbey Road.”
While Shimabukuro is only in his mid-30s, his influences include classic rock bands from decades past. A YouTube video of Shimabukuro playing George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has been viewed almost 11 million times since it was posted six years ago.
“Sometimes the world really does seem like it is divided into two kinds of people: those who have never heard of Jake Shimabukuro, and those who are huge fans,” said Michael Rennie, Pow! Foundation executive director. “Suffice to say, I’m one of the latter. I first became aware of Jake Shimabukuro after seeing him perform at a National Association of Music Merchants show in 2008. I was struck at how inspired and inspiring Jake was—clearly a virtuoso musician who loves what he does and wants the entire world to pick up an instrument. On stage, he combines the positive, easy-going charm of Jason Mraz with the effortless musicianship of a Stevie Ray Vaughn or Yo-Yo Ma. Yes, I realize that’s high praise, but Jake continues to live up to it.”
Tickets are $40 and $30 and are available online at the PCPA website, at the box office or by calling (858) 748-0505. Showtime is 8 p.m.