Jake Shimabukuro brings new tunes to Vacaville Performing Arts Theater
VACAVILLE – On Friday, spectators at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theater will hear new arias from Jake Shimabukuro, a week before the release of his new album, “Jake & Friends”.
The affable ukulele master began recording before the Covid-19 outbreak. With live performances on hold, Shimabukuro, like many other musicians, spent time in the studio.
And, learned lessons in different studio processes.
“At least I know how to record ukulele songs,” he said over the phone from Hawaii. “I could do it myself. “
He tried his hand at virtual performances. There were challenges.
“At the time, I didn’t know how to handle the camera and work with the audio,” he said.
Shimabukuro said he found the virtual workshops on masterclass.com much more enjoyable. He could see everyone’s fingers playing, up close.
“It was quite effective,” he said. “It opened my eyes to this new world.”
The downtime also caused Shimabukuro to contemplate life and think about what many take for granted.
For him, that’s it: “To be more grateful in the present moment and to know the importance of supporting each other,” he said.
It was an emotional roller coaster at times, he said.
“Jake & Friends”, which contains 15 tracks, features collaborations with Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Loggins, Moon Taxi, Michael McDonald, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, Jon Anderson, Ziggy Marley, Warren Haynes, Jack Johnson , Billy Strings and others.
“I have to pinch myself when I see these names on my own album,” he said in press materials. “It’s like, ‘Did this really happen? “Making the album was a real challenge, but I’m deeply honored that all the artists have agreed to record with me.
You never learn everything about music, he says.
“You are enjoying the trip,” he said. “The process is the journey you take.”
Shimabukuro also enjoyed spending time with his two sons, 6 and 9, during the pandemic. They’re not used to having it at home much, he says.
“Both love music,” he said.
Things will change as Shimabukuro begins his tour. For example, he will not meet people.
“It’s one of the cool things to connect with people afterwards,” he said.
There will be protocols in place, such as proof of vaccination and wearing a mask indoors.
Shimabukuro will be seated approximately 20 feet from the audience.
“If you close your eyes and feel this energy, you will feel like before Covid,” he said.
He will be accompanied by a bass player.
Shimabukuro felt it was his third or fourth time at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theater.
“It’s always so wonderful. You can tell they like to keep the music alive in the community, ”he said.
Shimabukuro has been nicknamed “the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele”.
His journey has taken him from the local phenomenon to the YouTube sensation, from playing in small clubs to headlining the most prestigious concert halls in the world like the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House. .
While the Beatles have always occupied an important place in his repertoire (he marked one of his first hits with his resplendent version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”), on “Jake & Friends”, he takes up three jewels of Fab Four, in collaboration with Ziggy Marley, Jon Anderson, and Vince Gill and Amy Grant.
“Thinking about it all now, it sounds like a dream,” Shimabukuro said in press documents. “I grew up fantasizing that one day I might meet my musical heroes, and here I am on my own record playing with them. It is remarkable beyond words. I’m so lucky to have had this experience, and can’t wait for people to hear it. I think they’re going to be able to say I’m having the best time of my life.
• 8 p.m. on Friday
• Vacaville Performing Arts Theater, 1010 Ulatis Drive