See the instrument in the Artist Gallery

While the ukulele is typically associated with Hawaiian music and easygoing tunes, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro has proven that the instrument is surprisingly versatile and can be played in other musical genres including rock, jazz, classical, and Latin.

Known for his dazzling playing techniques, Shimabukuro has risen to fame performing both original compositions and imaginative renditions of popular songs. In 2006, he gained international recognition when his performance of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on YouTube.

Shimabukuro recently loaned MIM the ukulele he played in that hit video and on stages around the world for many years. The beautiful tenor ukulele was custom-made for him by Kamaka Hawaii, Inc., with a unique set of features that has become iconic, and it can be seen at the Jake Shimabukuro display in MIM’s Artist Gallery. The unusual “slotted” headstock design, the exquisitely figured koa wood, and the artist’s initials inlaid on the fingerboard are only available to a small handful of players. Shimabukuro has maintained a close relationship with the Kamaka family, who has been making ukuleles for over a hundred years.

The MIM Music Theater had the pleasure of hosting Shimabukuro for concerts in 2010 and 2012. As he continues to play on stages around the world, Shimabukuro showcases the creativity of music and that there are no limits to what the ukulele can do.