AUS’s own Jen was at the Old Settler’s Festival this past weekend to see, among other acts, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro (known in ukulele circles as simply “Jake”). She writes:
I was fortunate to attend the Old Settler’s Music Festival on Saturday, April 16th, and see Jake Shimabukuro perform, to a ‘stunned silent’ audience, for just over an hour. It was a beautiful day and Jake and his Kamaka 4-string tenor ukulele kept everyone enthralled with gorgeous compositions and the stories behind them as well as the songs for which he put on his ‘basketball jersey’ to cover, including the song that put him on the map, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” He also covered Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” both of which can be found on his latest album, PEACE LOVE UKULELE.
After his set, I waited in line at the merchandise booth for a chance to chat with Jake and get an autograph and a photo. I told him that I really enjoyed his performance and that I’d seen him at the Cactus Café, exactly three years prior. He remembered that night well as Jimmy Buffet had turned up to watch him play, too. Of course, I mentioned that I had co-founded the Austin Ukulele Society and he was enthused about it and asked what our turnout was like and what songs we played. I also mentioned that I had emailed his publicist to see if he would possibly make a guest appearance at one of our meetings while in town for Old Settler’s but that I hadn’t heard back. He (kindly) agreed to try and join us next time he comes to Austin, if we can coordinate a meeting around his appearance.
After spending the whole day at the festival, seeing many great musicians play, I can say (mostly unbiased) that his performance knocked more socks off than any other and clearly garnered new fans and love for our favorite four-stringed instrument.
Peace, Love, and Ukulele! -Jen