By Gail Reynolds, Columnist-Tampa
“Reynolds Rap” Column
Venue: The Capitol Theatre–November 17, 2015
There probably is not a soul online who has not received a link to Jake Shimabukuro’s ukulele rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with breathless urging to watch and be amazed. And 13 million viewers have been indeed amazed. Ukulele enthusiasts refer him simply as Jake.
Fans in the Tampa Bay area were treated to a spellbinding concert at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater Tuesday, November 17. Jake performed favorites such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and many hard-hitting rocking numbers. However, he varied the pace with soulful introspective tunes as well.
His familiarity with Japanese culture was evident in his inspiration for some of his compositions. For his “Sakura Sakura” he makes the humble four stringed instrument sound uncannily like a 13 string koto.
Just as Beethoven based his Fifth Symphony on a four note motif, Shimabukro created a masterpiece on classic G C E A, “My Dog Has Fleas,” tuning.
Accompanied by a bassist, Jake’s nearly two hour concert seemed over too soon. Bathed in tastefully effective blue, white and red lighting, he closed with Schubert’s “Ave Maria” as a tribute to the Paris terrorism victims.
Afterwards he was available to pose for pictures and sign CDs and even the vinyl pressing of his latest, Travels. Many brought their ukuleles for him to autograph.
If you missed him, there seems ample opportunity to see him, as his concert schedule is extensive, befitting someone of his youth and energy, matched by extraordinary talent.
Jake Shimabukuro – “Sakura Sakura”
I love music and I love to write, so Rock at Night is a perfect forum for me.I appreciate all genres from classical to country and am astounded by the number of extraordinarily talented but under-recognizedmusical artists. So my articles often feature such “well known unknown” musicians and composers.
Before email, I would include a record review along with my holiday greetings as an alternative to annual reports of personal achievements and acquisitions. Among these, I wrote of Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man in 1988 and Bruce Cockburn’s Nothing But A Burning Light in 1991, urging my friends and family to listen to these masterpieces.
Now I can continue to express my enthusiasm for various musical artists to a wider audience.
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