Everyone loves some ukulele jams—but not everyone has heard a uke go as hard as Jake Shimabukuro's. Having played for 38 years, the Hawaiian-born star has made a career by taking the ukulele to the next level—and then the one after that.
- You can find Shimabukuro's latest album, "The Greatest Day," for streaming on Apple Music & Spotify.
Shimabukuro is slated to play the Tower Theatre on Oct. 9, and you'd be wise to check out that special experience. Get a little more acquainted with the virtuoso in this Artist Fact Sheet.
Where he's from: Shimabukuro grew up in Honolulu, where he began playing and learning the ukulele at age 4 from his mom, Carol. He was able to kick off a touring career in 2005 from a viral video on YouTube where Shimabukuro was filmed playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" in Central Park.
What's to like: For someone known for his skills on the ukulele, Shimabukuro is able to greatly extend the boundaries of the stringed instrument. From his originals to covers, the 42-year-old master finds new ways to create sound in each recording and performance. The man can straight up shred a uke!
Songs to start with: "The Greatest Day," "Blue Haiku," "I'll Be There" and his live performance of "Breakdown" with Jack Johnson is essential.
For fans of: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Buckman Coe, Nahko.
Random Internet Dig Fact: Shimabukuro's first instrument was a Kamaka ukulele that was originally his mother's as a teenager. It's what they both started out on, and Kamakas are what he still plays to this day.