Ukulele virtuoso to perform at Pantages Theater

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Hawaiian-born Jake Shimabukuro has been credited with taking the ukulele to a whole new level of mastery. Shimabukuro will bring his ukulele wizardry to Tacoma’s Pantages Theater for a concert on Feb. 2. Jake Shimabukuro
Hawaiian-born Jake Shimabukuro has been credited with taking the ukulele to a whole new level of mastery. Shimabukuro will bring his ukulele wizardry to Tacoma’s Pantages Theater for a concert on Feb. 2. Jake Shimabukuro

Tacoma Arts Live presents virtuoso and iconic ukulele rock star Jake Shimabukuro at Pantages Theater on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Shimabukuro has singularly altered expectations for his instrument.

Shimabukuro’s new studio album, “The Greatest Day,” was released Aug. 31. The 12 studio tracks that comprise “The Greatest Day” feature some of Shimabukuro’s most imaginative and adventuresome playing yet. The album is the follow up to 2016’s “Nashville Sessions.” On it, Shimabukuro brings back the same producer and rhythm section, adding guitarist Dave Preston to expand upon the sound they started creating two years ago, which Associated Press called “adventurous and dazzling.”

Accompanying Shimabukuro on tour will be longtime bassist Nolan Verner as well as Preston. The three of them have come together to create an experience unlike past shows or unlike anything you’ve seen or heard before. They truly are a dynamic touring trio.

They will perform songs from his past albums, “Live in Japan” (2015) and “Travels” (2015), favorites from his 15-year career, and several songs from his studio album “Nashville Sessions” along with songs from his current, much anticipated new album. Shimabukuro is hitting most states, filling up venues, evidence of the devoted fan base that is flourishing even in cities he is visiting for the first time. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to see some of the best musicians in the business come together to create a night you’ll never stop talking about. 

From his early days in Hawaii to a viral sensation playing George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on YouTube, his album has reached #1 in Billboard’s Top World Music Albums. From collaborations with Alan Parsons to “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and a PBS documentary about his life, Shimabukuro’s career makes a significant statement: the ukulele, with its humble four strings and modest two-octave range, is limited only by the imagination and creativity of the person playing it. In Shimabukuro’s hands, it is easy to believe the ukulele is capable of anything.

Shimabukuro has elevated the ukulele from a beloved Hawaiian folk instrument to a world-class vehicle, fearlessly traversing boundaries and putting his inspired touch on everything from island standards, to popular tunes and, most recently, classical symphonic concertos.

No wonder Rolling Stone called him “one of the hottest axemen of the past few years [who] doesn’t actually play guitar.”

Even Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder has voiced his admiration saying, “Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can’t see anybody else catching up with.”

Viewed by his peers as a musician’s musician, Jake’s discography includes collaborations with a wide range of artists, from Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Jack Johnson and Cyndi Lauper to Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Lyle Lovett and Bette Midler – with whom he performed for the Queen of England in 2009.

In recent years, his sizzling live performances have made him a hot commodity on national TV, guesting on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Good Morning America” and the “Today” show. He’s wowed audiences at SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Playboy Jazz Festival and the cutting-edge TED conference.

Shimabukuro was the subject of an acclaimed 2012 documentary, “Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings”, and, in 2015, made history with the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra when he performed the world premiere of Byron Yasui’s Concerto for Ukulele & Orchestra, Campanella.

For more information on Shimabukuro  visit www.jakeshimabukuro.com; www.instagram.com/jakeshimabukuro; www.facebook.com/jakeshimabukuromusic; www.youtube.com/jake shimabukuro

To purchase advance tickets, call the Broadway Center Box Office at (253) 591-5894, toll-free at 1 (800) 291-7593, visit in person at 901 Broadway in Tacoma’s Theater District or online at www.TacomaArtsLive.org.

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