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Thread: Jake Shimabukuro: Life On Four Strings

  1. #1
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    Default Jake Shimabukuro: Life On Four Strings

    I finally got to watch the program last night; it was good. It was interesting to see his uke playing background.

    Just a head's up for anyone with Amazon Prime. It's available to watch for free with Prime membership.

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    You can stream it from PBS, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steveperrywriter View Post
    You can stream it from PBS, too.
    That's where I saw it.

    I wonder if Jake's "buzz" has died down, even though he's still touring. Sort of like everyone that wanted to see him play live already did. Three years ago he was spoken of in this Board almost constantly, everything from his uke to his tabs, video covers, people with pics next to him at concerts, the whole enchilada. This was especially true during Peace, Love, Uke Tour ( his latest album not as well received). Now, not so much at all mentioned on the forum. Jake is one reason for the late 2007- early 2013 uke craze (now, when Sceptres don't resell at $650, we know the tide is going out).

    no doubt about the fact that he's spectacular. One of a kind.
    Last edited by coolkayaker1; 06-06-2014 at 09:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolkayaker1 View Post
    That's where I saw it.

    I wonder if Jake's "buzz" has died down, even though he's still touring. Sort of like everyone that wanted to see him play live already did. Three years ago he was spoken of in this Board almost constantly, everything from his uke to his tabs, video covers, people with pics next to him at concerts, the whole enchilada. This was especially true during Peace, Love, Uke Tour ( his latest album not as well received). Now, not so much at all mentioned on the forum. Jake is one reason for the late 2007- early 2013 uke craze (now, when Sceptres don't resell at $650, we know the tide is going out).

    no doubt about the fact that he's spectacular. One of a kind.
    One of the things I've noticed is the number of other people who can play in the same universe as Jake but who, unlike Jake, also sing (I saw Jake sing once; he was good but it isn't his strength). In the past few months I've gotten to see both Aldrine Guerrero and Ben Ahn live, and while it could be argued that neither one is quite at Jake's level, they both do eye-popping things when they play, and they can sing too. Both Aldrine and Ben cover popular songs (Aldrine also writes songs; Ben may, too, but when I saw him he played covers), and in some ways that makes them more accessible to more people. Neither yet commands anything near the audiences Jake still gets -- Jake's recent Stanford concert sold out in minutes, while Aldrine and Ben are both playing much smaller venues -- but I think as other ukulele players who shred the way Jake does become more well-known, the novelty of playing the ukulele the way Jake plays it begins to wear off. Jake still sells out quickly wherever he goes, so i don't think he's worried about where his next meal is coming from anymore, but a lot of the buzz about him at UU was people hearing about, and then seeing, him for the first time.

  5. #5
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    The way that 'Life on Four Strings' showed Jake's interaction with both little kids and the elderly brought a few tears, both times that I watched it. As for Jake's continued popularity, I hope his future recordings will feature him in mostly live concert settings WITHOUT the accompanying and overpowering guitars, drums, etc.

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    I saw Jake in Portland, OR when he came through, and they had to book a second show. My wife, who has been going to concerts with me for almost fifty years, including among them some of the biggest stars to ever grace a stage, allowed as how this show was one of favorites, maybe even the best of them all.

    Maybe Jake isn't passé just yet ...

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    I heard Jake in March and he's still growing as a player. I'm sure he still takes time each day to practice and work on things that he feels he could do better. The finest musicians still practice as much as they can. I was a trumpet major in college and have seen Doc Severinsen twice over the last 2-3 years. Doc was doing a concert/clinic at a high school not far from me. The clinic was to take place late morning/early afternoon. He showed up at the school three hours early and asked for a room so he could practice for a few hours. I think he was 83-84 years old at the time. He can still outplay most of the working professional horn players at a time when most people his age would be sitting in a rocking chair. Musicians of Jake and Doc's caliber know that you never stop wanting to improve. I love Jake's playing and his passion for what he does. I also would love to hear the other masters of this instrument. Unfortunately they don't come to my area the way Jake does. I check James Hill's site hoping he is coming close to my area. No such luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mds725 View Post
    One of the things I've noticed is the number of other people who can play in the same universe as Jake but who, unlike Jake, also sing (I saw Jake sing once; he was good but it isn't his strength). In the past few months I've gotten to see both Aldrine Guerrero and Ben Ahn live, and while it could be argued that neither one is quite at Jake's level, they both do eye-popping things when they play, and they can sing too. Both Aldrine and Ben cover popular songs (Aldrine also writes songs; Ben may, too, but when I saw him he played covers), and in some ways that makes them more accessible to more people. Neither yet commands anything near the audiences Jake still gets -- Jake's recent Stanford concert sold out in minutes, while Aldrine and Ben are both playing much smaller venues -- but I think as other ukulele players who shred the way Jake does become more well-known, the novelty of playing the ukulele the way Jake plays it begins to wear off. Jake still sells out quickly wherever he goes, so i don't think he's worried about where his next meal is coming from anymore, but a lot of the buzz about him at UU was people hearing about, and then seeing, him for the first time.
    . This makes a lot of sense. Yes, I can see this logic.

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    I agree that a number of players are now able to "shred" in Jake's league. But, that's not even close to the limit of Jake's talent. As great as many are, Jake has a superior, unteachable talent for connecting with an audience. I think this is why he has been able to bring the ukulele to the mainstream of music. As great as guys like Aldrene, Kalei, and a number of others may be at making music, and as big a star as Eddie Vetter or Talor Swift might be, I believe only a talent like Jake's could have made the ukulele explode in popularity as it has.
    If everybody wanted peace instead of another TV, then there would be peace.
    -John Lennon-

  10. #10
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    This is true, also. I have to say, every time I think of one of those other up-and-coming uke "stars", the ones we all know in the ukulele world, then go back and watch a Jake video. Jake is king.

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