Jake Shimabukuro is a ukulele-playing maestro and composer from Honolulu, Hawaii. The Japanese-American musician is best known for his fast and technically complex fingerstyle playing.
Jake was born on November 3rd, 1976 in Honolulu. He plays an array of musical styles including blues, funk, rock, jazz, classical, bluegrass, flamenco, and folk. With a vast amount of musical styles, influence, and his incredible playing techniques, Jake has grown a large following over his musical career.
Jake has written many original compositions, including soundtracks for films. He composed the entire soundtrack for the Japanese film “Hula Girls” in 2007 and he also composed the entire soundtrack for the Japanese remake of Sideways, “Saidioweizu” in 2009.
At the start of his musical career in the early 2000s, Jake started to become very well known for his musical talents in Hawaii and Japan. He became internationally famous in 2006 after his virtuosic cover version of the Beatles “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral. Below is the original video uploaded to YouTube back in 2006, it now has over 17 million views.
Jake wasn’t even aware that the video had been posted on YouTube. The video hosting platform was still in its infancy back then, with Jake’s cover song becoming one of the first-ever viral videos on the platform.
After his rise to fame on YouTube, Jake landed large concerts, began working with well-known artists in the industry, making media appearances and his career has pretty much snowballed since then.
Jake has also been the subject of an award-winning documentary titled, “Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings”. The film tracked the musician’s life, music, and career being shown at many well-known festivals, receiving airplay on PBS, and also was distributed as a DVD.