Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings

News Release Date: 
April 24, 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. (April 24, 2013) -- “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,” airing Friday, May 10, at 10 p.m. CT on NET1 and NET-HD, 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 program captures the solitary life on tour: the exhilaration of performance, the wonder of newfound fame, the loneliness of separation from home and family.

A 30-something, fourth-generation Japanese American, Shimabukuro was born and raised in Honolulu, the child of parents who both loved music. Shimabukuro’s mother, Carol, played the ukulele and began to teach him at age four, as soon as his fingers were big enough to reach the chords.

Archival footage of Shimabukuro’s performances from his teenage years to the present shows the evolution of an artist. Shimabukuro discusses his musical influences, starting with traditional Hawaiian music and performers such as Eddie Kamae, whose interpretations of musical genres outside the standard repertoire encouraged Shimabukuro to experiment on his own. He began to compose and play rock, pop, jazz and classical music on the ukulele, an instrument that, outside Hawaii, was mostly viewed as a novelty.

In addition to Shimabukuro’s performances at concerts before sold-out crowds -- where incredibly one man and one small instrument can hold huge audiences spellbound -- the program captures his appearances at schools, providing glimpses of a man at ease with himself and happy to introduce children to the joy of music.

NET1 and NET-HD are part of NET Television.  NET Television is a service of NET.  For a complete program schedule, visit NET's website (netNebraska.org/television).