Jake Shimabukuro Coming to California

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Ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro’s current tour will include the following California venues:

• Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. at College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd., Santa Clarita.

• Thursday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. at John Anson Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Los Angeles. (Tickets are $35-$50; VIP packages available)

• Friday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Laxon Auditorium, 3rd Street and Chestnut, Chico.

The Sept. 10 show at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento is sold out.

Other stops on the tour include Aspen, Chicago, Milwaukee, Des Moines, Kansas City, Louisville, and Washington, D.C.

In his young career, Shimabukuro has already redefined a heretofore under-the-radar instrument, been declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone, won accolades from the disparate likes of Eddie Vedder, Perez Hilton and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, wowed audiences on TV (“Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Conan”), earned comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, and even played in front of the Queen of England.

With his new record, “Grand Ukulele,” Shimabukuro’s star may burn even brighter.

An ambitious follow-up to 2011’s “Peace, Love, Ukulele” (which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard World Charts), the Hawaiian musician’s new record finds him collaborating with legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons, best known for his work on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” The Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” and his own highly successful solo project.

“It was very organic how it happened,” says Shimabukuro. “He attended a couple of my shows near where he lives in Santa Barbara and the concert promoter put us in touch. I was stunned. I mean, THE Alan Parsons? We ended up having dinner before the show and he casually mentioned the idea of possibly working together on a project. It was a priceless opportunity I didn’t want to pass up – he’s a genius.”

Parsons ended up helping Shimabukuro expand his sound, bringing in a 29-piece orchestra and a big-name rhythm section, including drummer Simon Phillips (The Who, Toto), session superstar bassist Randy Tico, and Kip Winger (Winger, Alice Cooper), who helped with the orchestration.

“The best thing was that, even with all those people, we recorded everything live with no overdubs,” says Shimabukuro. “It was great, tracking live with an orchestra and a rhythm section. We picked up on each other’s subtle emotional cues – you could feel everyone breathing together. It was like the old days of recording – when everyone tracked together – there’s a certain magic that happens.”

In other news, Japan Airlines has announced a new campaign targeting its resort routes between Japan and Hawaii. For help in marketing to Japanese customers looking for a sunny getaway, JAL tapped Shimabukuro to pen a special song. This exclusive, two-part song can be heard on JAL’s flights, with an upbeat version played while headed to Hawaii and a “longing to return” version when headed back to Japan. Shimabukuro was honored to create this piece to welcome everyone from Japan to his home state. The service starts on Oct 1.

On the Web: http://jakeshimabukuro.com

 

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