Ukulele Virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro Announced At The Lied!

Hawai'i-born virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro will bring his genre-bending music to the Lied on October 12.

By: Sep. 28, 2023
Ukulele Virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro Announced At The Lied!

Ukulele Virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro Announced At The Lied!

Often referred to as the "Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele,” Jake Shimabukuro puts his inspired touch on everything from island standards to popular tunes and classical symphonic concertos. Elevating the ukulele from a beloved Hawaiian folk instrument to a world-class vehicle, he fearlessly traverses musical boundaries and has collaborated with artists from Bette Midler and Yo-Yo Ma to Ziggy Marley and Chris Botti.

Jake Shimabukuro will perform at the Lied Center on Thursday, October 12 at 7:30pm. Tickets are available now at Click Here, (402) 472-4747, and at the Lied Center box office. In-person and live webcast tickets are available!

Over the past two decades, Jake Shimabukuro has proved that there isn't a style of music that he can't play. While versatility for any musician is impressive, what's remarkable about Shimabukuro's transcendent skills is how he explores his seemingly limitless vocabulary – whether it's jazz, rock, blues, bluegrass, folk or even classical – on perhaps the unlikeliest of instruments: the ‘ukulele. Responding to the urgent calls of his fervent imagination, the Hawai'i-born virtuoso has taken the ‘ukulele to points previously thought impossible, and in the process he's reinvented the applications for this tiny, heretofore underappreciated four-string instrument, causing many to call him “the Jimi Hendrix of the ‘ukulele.” 

Humbly, the good-natured musician, who first picked up the ‘ukulele at the age of four, says, “From the time I started playing, I was just doing what came naturally and what felt like fun. I love all types of music, so I never thought, ‘Oh, I can't play that on the ‘ukulele.'” He laughs and adds, “If you don't know the rules, you don't need to follow them, and then nothing can hold you back.” 

Shimabukuro's incredible journey has taken him from local phenom to YouTube sensation, from playing tiny clubs to headlining the world's most prestigious concert venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House. He's performed on the biggest TV shows and has released a string of award-winning, chart-topping albums. Just recently, he was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as a Member for the National Council on the Arts. 

It's fair to say that Shimabukuro has picked up more than a few admirers – millions of them, actually – but it wasn't until he began his latest album that he discovered how many of his fans were, in fact, his very own musical heroes. 

Jake & Friends isn't the first album on which celebrated guests appear with the main performer, but in terms of size and scope, and considering the sheer number of legendary stars who graciously loaned their inimitable talents, it can only be compared to benchmark duets albums by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, and it's a shining testament to just how far the singularly gifted Shimabukuro has come. 

Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, Jon Anderson, Ziggy Marley, Moon Taxi, Warren Haynes, Jack Johnson, Jesse Colin Young, Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel, Sonny Landreth, Lukas Nelson, Billy Strings – Shimabukuro's own head spins when looking over his high-wattage guest list. “I have to pinch myself when I see those names on my own album,” he says. “It's like, ‘Did that really happen?' Making the album was a real challenge, but I'm deeply honored that all of the artists agreed to record with me.”

The Lied Center is Nebraska's Home for the Arts. Located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Lied presents the world's most iconic artists and major regional, national and international performances that entertain and inspire audiences. We offer something for everyone, including the best of Broadway, symphony orchestras, dance, music, theater and family programs. Artists at the Lied have ranged from Itzhak Perlman and Wynton Marsalis to the American Ballet Theatre and St. Louis Symphony. The Lied also is committed to educational outreach: Nearly 100% of visiting artists work with students in the days leading up to their performance. Visit us at


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