Grand New

Jake Shimabukuro elevates the humble ukulele

Looking back, it all started with a YouTube video. What was meant to be a spur-of-the-moment performance became an internet sensation that turned Hawaiian-born musician Jake Shimabukuro into a beloved, internationally known talent.

For the last three years, Shimabukuro has received acclaim from critics and fellow artists, and has performed for everyone from the queen of England on down. And he’s done it all with an unmatched approach to the ukulele, a seemingly simple instrument.

Shimabukuro has completely flipped the script on the ukulele, playing a blend of classic rock, folk and bluegrass that also travels into the funky realms of jazz and soul. His latest album, Grand Ukulele, is his most dazzling work yet.

The new record is produced and engineered by the legendary Alan Parsons. Parsons reportedly got in touch with Shimabukuro after seeing him play some shows, and offered to capture the essence of Shimabukuro’s magical live performances with a big band sound incorporating up to 29-piece orchestrations. This fall, Shimabukuro is heading out on a massive U.S. solo tour; he plays Friday, Oct. 24, at the Marin Center Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 8pm. $30–$75. 415.473.6800.

Sonoma County Library