Life on Four (Short) Strings

Jake Shimabukuro, worldwide ukulele virtuoso and phenom, is the subject of a new documentary by L.A.-based filmmaker Tadashi Nakamura, titled Life on Four Strings: Jake Shimabukuro. Jake describes himself as primarily a Hawaiian traditional musician, but his style incorporates all sorts of influences from jazz to rock to flamenco to Japanese classical music. The documentary was screened last night by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and I really enjoyed it. The film begins with shots of ukulele construction, and also features interviews with Fred Kamaka, a maker of Kamaka Ukuleles.

The documentary will air on PBS at 9pm on the evening of 10 March 2013. Watch the trailer here:

Here’s the youtube video that launched Jake to fame outside of Hawaii, playing George Harrison’s “When My Guitar Gently Weeps”:

Check it out!