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Jake Shimabukuro

YouTube Sensation Brings Unique Playing Style to Saint Rose

ALBANY (October 12, 2015) — Consider the ukulele.

Jake Shimabukuro began his music career in the mid-90’s performing on this humble instrument at local coffee shops in his native Hawaii as a sideman with his first band, Pure Heart. In 2002, he signed with Epic Records, becoming the first ukulele player to sign with Sony Music. His career skyrocketed when a cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on YouTube, now with more than 14 million views, opening the world’s eyes to Shimabukuro and his unique playing style.

The College of Saint Rose presents Jake Shimabukuro in concert Friday, November 6, at 7:30 p.m. on the D’Arcy-Brady Stage in the Kathleen McManus Picotte Recital Hall, Massry Center for the Arts, 1002 Madison Ave., Albany, New York.

A presentation of Premiere Performances, limited tickets are available at $35 general, $25 students and are on sale now at For concert and ticket information, contact the Massry Center ticket office at 518-337-4871 or e-mail

Growing up in Hawaii, Shimabukuro’s influences include legendary ukulele players such as Eddie Kamae, Ohta-San and Peter Moon. He also credits icons like Bruce Lee and Michael Jordan as a source of inspiration. Known for his energetic strumming on the ukulele, Shimabukuro’s performance incorporates elements of thoughtful, sophisticated arrangements to spontaneous, improvised passages. In addition to his original compositions, his repertoire includes Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Schubert’s “Ave Maria” and Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

In the years since the YouTube clip hit the Web, Shimabukuro has collaborated with an array of artists that includes Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Michael McDonald, Béla Fleck and The Flecktones, Tommy Emmanuel and Lyle Lovett, as well as orchestras the world over. He has sold out world-class venues, played at Bonnaroo, SXSW, the Playboy Jazz Festival, Fuji Rock Festival, the influential TED conference, and even performed for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England.

Shimabukuro has topped Billboard’s World Music chart numerous times, been declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine, talked about by Perez Hilton and Dr. Sanjay Gupta and wowed audiences on national TV with appearances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show.” Along the way, he has earned comparisons to such musical innovators as Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. Shimabukuro has been the subject of an award-winning documentary “Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings,” currently on Netflix.

Opened in 2008, the critically acclaimed Massry Center for the Arts features the 400-seat Kathleen McManus Picotte Recital Hall, Esther Massry Gallery, choral and instrument rehearsal rooms, teaching studios, piano labs and classrooms. Past performing artists have included B.B. King, Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Doc Severinson, Ramsey Lewis, Maceo Parker, Mary Lambert, Tim Reynolds, Stefon Harris, John Pizzarelli, the Boston Symphony Orchestra Strings, Yuja Wang, Paula Cole and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The 46,000 square-foot gem is certified LEED Gold, ranking it among the Capital Region’s most energy-efficient and Earth-friendly buildings.

The College of Saint Rose ( is a dynamic, progressive college in the heart of New York’s capital city where teaching is the first priority. With 59 undergraduate programs, nine undergraduate certificates, 37 master’s degrees and 26 graduate certificates, and a mission of service to the urban community, the Saint Rose experience empowers students to improve themselves and the world around them.


For More Information, Contact:

Benjamin Marvin
Director of Media Relations