Arts & Entertainment

KU Presents! ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro

By Gabrielle Smith
Assistant A&E Editor


On Oct. 25, KU will welcome ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro, as he gives a performance in Schaeffer Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Playing since four years old when his mother gave him his first ukulele, Shimabukuro is a virtuoso instrumentalist.

In 2006, Shimabukuro was being recorded for a show called Midnight Ukulele Disco, where he covered the song “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” by George Harrison. Without his knowledge, the video was posted to YouTube where it instantly went viral, receiving over 15 million views.

Jake Shimabukuro – Photo from

The release of the video opened up many opportunities for Shimabukuro, giving him the chance to tour all over the world, selling out several venues, performing on late night talk shows, as well as collaborate with various artists including Cyndi Lauper, Jimmy Buffet and Ziggy Marley.

If searched on YouTube, Shimabukuro can be found covering several popular songs on the ukulele, taking his time with his performance and adding his own spin with the instrument. Such songs include “Over the Rainbow,” “Hallelujah” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” After hearing the calming sound of the ukulele as Shimabukuro plays without missing a single note, it is quickly understood why he has such a huge following and is praised for his musical talent.

Tickets are on sale for the event at $32 each and can be bought at the information desk in the McFarland Student Union Building on campus.

Ticket holders also have free access to a special event at 6 p.m. before the show, in Schaeffer Little Theater where they can learn how to play Ukulele themselves, giving them first-hand experience with the instrument. Ukulele’s will be provided, though it is suggested on getting there early due to limited space.


Categories: Arts & Entertainment