Monday, November 10, 2008

Jake Shimabukuro!!!!!

My high school dreams came true when Gina, Will and I went to a Jake Shimabukuro concert this weekend.  Yes, he was amazing -- he's a real, live virtuoso with some interesting things to say about jazz, on the ukulele.  Here's a YouTube video of his song "Dragon," which we heard at the concert, inspired by Bruce Lee, his childhood hero:



The irony here is that Jake kept saying, "This was my favorite movie when I was a kid" or "I loved to go driving when I was a kid" and meanwhile the older, San Francisco Jazz season ticketholder audience can hardly contain their giggles, beause 32-year-old Jake looks all of 16 years old.

I distinctly remember him being hotter when he was part of "Pure Heart:"




Note the screaming girls in the background (I was probably among them), who were not present at the SF Jazz concert, especially considering that Will, Gina, and I were probably among the youngest ones there. I guess a Hawaiian shirt and glasses can do a lot towards making a goofy, dorky genius uke player look a lot better ...

It was a good trip down memory lane.  Will threatened to throw his bra at Jake.  Shimabukuro did some interesting things musically, including taking influences of sounds he hears and incorporating them into his music.  For instance, he did one short, fast piece from Bach's inventions; he did an original composition based upon common piano chords; he did "Sakura Sakura" based upon the koto music he heard in Japan (it sounded real, as far as I could tell).

He did one song about driving along with his dad, then running out of gas ("that's the second part of the song, where it goes all minor"), and then getting more gas and driving again.  It was Gina and my favorite piece.

He's a J-Pop star in Japan now and kind of looks like it -- a skinny kid in designer jeans with a "Hawaii Week" t-shirt and J-pop-ie fluffed hair.  But I of course will always remember him as part of Pure Heart: