Sunday, May 31, 2009

Uke Joint Jake....

I know the ukulele has 4 strings.

I understand it was created in Hawaii back in the 19th century.

It is small and easy to carry around.

Perfection in playing it was demonstrated last night during the Spoleto Festival by Jake Shimabukuro.

This young man stood alone on the stage at The Cistern on the College of Charleston campus and blew away the huge crowd.

We were in stunned silence.

We were in awe.

He was magnificent.

He told stories of traveling with various bands and picking up pointers. He loved the challenge of adapting songs for his ukulele that had been written for guitar, piano - even horns.

Years ago he popped up on Youtube as he played a George Harrison tune in New York's Central park for a segment of Ukulele Disco.

He had agreed to play "as long as I don't have to dance."

More than 3,000,000 online hits later, he said he gets amazing e-mails from all over the world inviting him to come and play in their town, in their state, in their country.

When the opportunity comes to go see Jake, do it.

Meanwhile, to sample just a bit of what he sounded like last night, look him up on Youtube playing "As My Guitar Gently Weeps." You'll be happy you did.

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