For Shimabukuro, Grand Ukulele feels like the next step in a career that really started at the age of 4 when he first picked up the instrument, through a successful local career in Hawaii and his first brush with fame on YouTube. Now, he’s a respected, popular musician looking to make a lasting musical mark.
“I feel really connected to this record,” he says. “It was an honor to work with Alan and all those great musicians. It really felt like old friends coming together - there was so much positive energy surrounding the project – it was a magical experience that I’ll never forget.”
"Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can't see anybody else catching up with." - Eddie Vedder
In his young career, ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro has already redefined a heretofore under-the-radar instrument, been declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone, won accolades from the disparate likes of Eddie Vedder, Perez Hilton and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, wowed audiences on TV (Jimmy Kimmel, Conan), earned comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, and even played in front of the Queen of England.
With his new record Grand Ukulele, Shimabukuro’s star may burn even brighter.
An ambitious follow-up to 2011’s Peace, Love, Ukulele (which debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Charts), the Hawaiian musician’s new record finds him collaborating with legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons, best known for his work on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Beatles’ Abbey Road and his own highly successful solo project. “It was very organic how it happened,” says Shimabukuro (she-ma-boo-koo-row). “He attended a couple of my shows near where he lives in Santa Barbara and the concert promoter put us in touch. I was stunned. I mean, THE Alan Parsons? We ended up having dinner before the show and he casually mentioned the idea of possibly working together on a project. It was a priceless opportunity I didn’t want to pass up – he’s a genius.”
Parsons ended up helping Shimabukuro expand his sound, bringing in a 29-piece orchestra and a big-name rhythm section, including drummer Simon Phillips (The Who, Toto), session superstar bassist Randy Tico and Kip Winger (Winger, Alice Cooper), who helped with the orchestration.