Ukulele Master Jake Shimabukuro Releases His First LIVE CD

photos by Phil & Janie- for the Grateful Web

Perhaps you were in the audience at one of Jake Shimabukuro's shows last year when he "entered the zone, created unforgettable music, and wowed the crowd. The odds are that Jake's tech crew recorded that concert, and the moment is captured on Live, his upcoming HITCHHIKE RECORDS release (distributed by Thirty Tigers/RED, April 14 release). This is Jake's first full-length CD since 2006's best-selling Gently Weeps. After taping dozens of U.S. and overseas performances Jake chose these tracks as representing the best of the best of his live playing.

I've always wanted to release a live CD because there's something magical about capturing the energy of the audience during a performance, says Jake. "Every cheer and chuckle writes itself into each tune and becomes a part of the arrangement. Every track reveals a different side of the ukulele. Soft and sensitive at times, other times cheery and playful, occasionally dramatic, and, once in a while, hard and aggressive.

I enjoyed putting this album together because it preserved the feeling of each concert. Every venue had a refreshingly intimate vibe that made the creation of music pleasurable. My favorite moments are the spontaneous ones of laughter and joy between songs. Music should bring happiness. The sound of the ukulele always makes me smile. I think the world would be a greater place if everyone played the ukulele.

The 17-song CD includes 12 Shimabukuro originals (Nine versions of his best-known compositions, plus three brand-new tunes) and five covers (including a jaw-dropping version of J.S. Bach's "Two-Part Invention No. 4 in D Minor"and a memorable interpretation of Thriller," the Rod Temperton song made famous by Michael Jackson). Of course there's a live version of George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps"which might be Jake's best-recorded version yet!

Live documents the fascinating journey and musical growth of one of the most original musical talents on the planet, Jake Shimabukuro.

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