Ukulele star brings unique vibe to Pops
Fans of both traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music are in for a huge treat this weekend, when ukulele virtuoso and Hawaii institution Jake Shimabukuro headlines his first concerts with another great local institution, our own Honolulu Symphony Pops.
In concert: 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday
Place: Blaisdell Concert Hall
Tickets: $12 to $75
Call: 792-2000 or visit www.honolulusymphony.com
Jake is a virtuoso in every sense: gifted musician, master showman and exceptional composer. He's also a genuine person who embodies the true aloha spirit. Catch him after the show for an autograph (he'll be signing in the lobby) and you'll understand what I'm saying.
We have a great concert planned. To begin, ukulele masters Byron Yasui and Benny Chong join the orchestra and set the mood for an unforgettable evening. And our full Pops orchestra will be there to create that special atmosphere that's unmistakably Honolulu.
Unlike many other pops orchestras in the country, we don't try to play modern music in a classical style. We know when to sway toward jazz, rock, big band, rhythm and blues, contemporary or wherever the music takes us. This weekend, you'll get a great feel for these styles of popular music. And don't forget that no orchestra interprets Hawaiian music as naturally as we do!
If you haven't heard many tracks from Jake's most recent CD, get ready for a few surprises. Released in September, "Gently Weeps" features his rendition of George Harrison's unforgettable "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," as well as many of Jake's original compositions. We'll give you a taste for his new stuff, plus the best of his hits, at the show. No worries -- we'll feature his traditional Hawaiian songs, too.
Jake's versatility as a musician and composer makes him the perfect guest star. His facility for different styles and willingness to explore new music are a natural fit for the Pops. Don't be surprised to hear elements of many styles, from classical (yes, the ukulele can be a classical instrument) to Celtic, jazz and beyond.
Did you catch the Japanese movie "Hula Girl" at the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival this year? In a departure from his usual role as performing artist, Jake scored the music for the film. You can listen to a sample at www.jakeshimabukuro.com -- check it out for a preview of Jake's artistry before our concerts.
We're fortunate to have such a wealth of talent in Hawaii. From our dedicated Honolulu Symphony Pops musicians to Jake to Byron and Benny, we've got a great thing going.
conducts the Honolulu Symphony Pops. "Crescendo" appears on Monday before each concert in the symphony season to illuminate the works to be performed. E-mail comments to email@example.com
Ignace "Iggy" Jang
is the Honolulu Symphony's concertmaster. His column will appear on the Monday prior to each concert of the season to illuminate works to be performed. E-mail comments and questions to Jang at firstname.lastname@example.org