As an ukulele performer and Halawai board member, I was honored to be a panelist at the New York screening of Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings. Back in 2004, I was fortunate to see Jake at venues like the Knitting Factory and attend workshops that he taught in New York. Jake’s career has really taken off since the days when I was among a dozen people to turnout to see him perform at the Lion’s Den in Greenwich Village. Today, Jake sells out major venues and tours much of the year. Jake’s famous New York moment, of course, was the youtube video of him in Strawberry Fields playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” that went viral and launched his international stardom. The little ukulele definitely has history here in Manhattan!
On November 29, 2012, the A/P/A Institute at NYU presented a screening of Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings followed by a conversation with Filmmaker Tadashi Nakamura, A/P/A Founding Director Jack Tchen and Hālāwai board member Andy Wang.
Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings is a compelling portrait of an inspiring and inventive musician whose virtuoso skills on the ukulele have transformed all previous notions of the instrument’s potential. Through intimate conversations with Shimabukuro, Life on Four Strings reveals the cultural and personal influences that have shaped the man and the musician. On the road from Los Angeles to New York to Japan, the film captures the solitary life on tour: the exhilaration of performance, the wonder of newfound fame, and the loneliness of separation from home and family.