Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings is a compelling portrait of an inspiring and inventive musician whose virtuoso skills on the ukulele have transformed all previous notions of the instrument’s potential.
Through intimate conversations with Shimabukuro (she-ma-BOO-koo-row), Life on Four Strings reveals the cultural and personal influences that have shaped the man and the musician. On the road from Los Angeles to New York to Japan, the film captures the solitary life on tour: the exhilaration of performance, the wonder of new found fame, the loneliness of separation from home and family.
Jake Shimabukuro’s mother gave him his first ukulele lesson when he was 4. Ever since, he’s been experimenting with innovative techniques and sounds that cross-cut funk, jazz, rock, classical, even flamenco. From gigs at a local Honolulu café, Jake has swept onto the international stage, and now tours frequently with Jimmy Buffett. With his light-speed fingerwork, he plays original pieces and covers songs by artists ranging from Bach to Michael Jackson. His versatile sound is featured on Yo-Yo Ma’s holiday album, Songs of Joy and Peace, and Ziggy Marley’s Grammy Award-winning Love Is My Religion.
Shimabukuro is a spokesman for Music Is Good Medicine, a community outreach program that promotes healthy living through music. He travels to schools throughout Hawaii, the mainland US and Japan to inspire kids to create music and experience its therapeutic benefits
Jake Shimabukuro airs on WLRN Channel 17 Saturday, June 22 at 8 p.m.