Thursday, April 28, 2016

LOS STRAITJACKETS AND NRBQ AT THE SELLERSVILLE THEATER 5/5/16


 

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
with Los Straitjackets and NRBQ 

By Rob Nagy

“I never thought we were going to get out of Nashville,” recalls Los Straitjackets’ guitarist and co-founding member Eddie Angel, from his home in Nashville, Tennessee. “I thought this band was just going to be for fun and entertaining our friends.”

Originally conceived in 1988 by Danny Amis (guitar), Eddie Angel (guitar) and L. J. "Jimmy" Lester (drums) as “The Straitjackets,” the group split and reformed in 1994 as “Los Straitjackets.”

Influenced by Chuck Berry, The Ventures, Link Wray and The Beatles, Los Straightjackets offered straight ahead rock and roll with a heavy dose of surf music. Following the release of the highly successful film “Pulp Fiction” (1994), which prominently featured surf music, Los Straitjackets caught an unexpected wave of success.

Signed to Upstart Records, they released their debut album, “The Utterly Fantastic and Totally Unbelievable Sound of Los Straitjackets,” in the spring of 1995.

“We just came out at the right time,” recalls Angel.  “Pulp Fiction had just come out, and all of a sudden surf instrumental music was very cool.  Again, you can’t plan these things.  They just happen. We just got in the van and started touring and we toured for three years straight.  The next thing I know, we had a career going.”

As tight as the band was musically, it was the visual presentation that set them apart. Immaculately dressed in matching suits and ties, Los Straitjackets elected to cover their faces by sporting uniquely individualized Mexican wrestling masks.

“When we first started the band, we were rehearsing at Danny’s house and he had been going to Mexico City,” recalls Angel. “Whenever he could, he would go to wrestling matches and he would buy these wrestling masks outside the event. So he had this big box of them where we were rehearsing and somebody said, ‘What about wearing these?’ It was just one of those serendipitous things and we almost chickened out.”

“I remember our first gig wearing the masks. We were backstage thinking, ‘Are we wearing them or not wearing them?’ So we wore them and we knew right away when the reaction was good. There was no real thought.  It was a lucky accident that has given us a career.”

“In my mind I’m thinking, ‘we are an instrumental band and we’re going to have to do something to keep people’s attention,’” adds Angel. “People are used to seeing a singer. I really thought it would be hard to hold people’s attention for an hour just playing instrumental. The masks had a lot to do with it. The music was good and everything, but we wouldn’t have a career without them. Wearing the wrestling masks allowed us to be kind of a different person on stage. You can be a super hero.  I don’t know? It allows you freedom that you may not otherwise feel.”

“With our outfits, we wanted to dress like a vintage rock and roll band,” says Angel. “We started speaking Spanish and people started thinking we were Mexican. Then we got the matching guitars. Then we had the Pinto guitars. Then we started throwing in the choreography. So it’s all happened little by little over the years.”

In 2010, Amis was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and was sidelined from recording and touring.  He returned to the band in a limited capacity in 2012. Townson, who was recruited to fill the void left by Amis, remains with the group. Los Straitjackets’ current line-up features Danny Amis (guitar), Eddie Angel (guitar), Pete Curry (bass), Chris “Sugarballs” Sprague (drums) and Greg Townson (guitar).

Danny Amis, Eddie Angel, Pete Curry, Chris "Sugarballs" Sprague, Greg Townson

Los Straitjackets latest effort is a 7” vinyl single split with NRBQ featuring two original songs. Los Straitjackets’ “Scram! It’s The Fuzz” and NRBQ’s  “Never Cop Out.”  Los Straitjackets and NRBQ will offer the single during their current co-headlining tour.

 “We’re always looking for opportunities to do something different,” says Angel. “It seemed that the time was right to do a tour like this. I’ve been a huge NRBQ fan for over 30 years.  So we’re really excited and happy to be working with these guys. I think it’s a great double bill.”

As frequent collaborators with a variety of obscure and high profile artists, Los Straightjackets’ latest effort pays homage to one of the band’s music heroes.

We just recorded a tribute to Nick Lowe, where we’re doing instrumental versions of Nick Lowe songs,” says Angel. “Cruel To Be Kind,” “Peace, Love and Understanding,” “All Men Are Liars,” “You Inspire Me,” “Christmas at the Airport,” “Shake and Pop” and a few more. Hopefully that will be out by the end of the year.”

Angel attributes the success of Los Straitjackets to an unselfish team effort and a commitment to creative excellence and showmanship.

“The tightness is from touring over twenty years,” says Angel. “None of us are virtuosos, but I think we’re all band people. You have to have the right songs, and I think we’re really good at coming up with them. We’re songwriters first and foremost then accomplished guitar players. I think we all had the same sensibility about what we liked about music, so there’s no bumping heads over one of us liking a totally different kind of music. We’re all on the same page. Right from the beginning our philosophy was to be entertaining for an audience. That was our main goal.”

“We’ve kept it interesting for ourselves and for our fans,” adds Angel. “We always try to come up with something that’s different. We know we’re not going to reinvent the wheel. We’re not trying to reinvent rock and roll. We’ve been really lucky!”

Los Straitjackets and NRBQ will perform at the Sellersville Theater; located at 24 West Temple Ave., Sellersville, PA, Thursday May 5, 2016 at 8:00 P.M. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-257-5808 or on-line at www.st94.com.

To stay up to date with Los Straitjackets, visit www.straitjackets.com.



http://www.tickettoentertainment.com/blog/2016/04/27/celebrate-cinco-de-mayo-with-los-straitjackets-and-nrbq-at-sellersville-theater/

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

RYLEY WALKER AT THE FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH (Philly) 4/29/16



One of my favorite new artist's!

Photos by Rob Nagy 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

BILLY PAUL DEAD AT 81!

Saddened by the passing of Billy Paul. Great talent and a really nice man. A tough year losing our musicians continues!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

RHONDA VINCENT AND THE RAGE OFFER A TOUCH OF BLUE GRASS 4/14/16


 
Rhonda Vincent and the Rage bring a taste of the Deep South to Sellersville

By Rob Nagy

Heralded by the Wall Street Journal as “The New Queen of Bluegrass,” Rhonda Vincent remains one of her genres greatest advocates.

“The image of blue grass, especially when its perceived in the movies, “Deliverance” “Oh, Brother Where Art though” did us a complete disservice,” says Vincent from her home in Greentop, MO. “That’s not what blue grass is. That’s not the way we dress. Anytime you see it on TV or movies, it’s represented that we’re toothless or no shoes and I became a crusader against that.”

“Blue grass is one of the most intricate forms of music that you have to be so skilled to play,” adds Vincent. “Unfortunately, the image of blue grass is just the opposite. There’s this preconceived notion that they don’t know what it is. The music is very sophisticated. Once they hear that they say, ‘Oh my God I really love this!’ Somebody describe what I do as, ‘Traditional music with a contemporary flair.’ I really like that. We respect the tradition and play traditional blue grass.”

Forming her independent record label in 2010, Upper Management Music, she released her debut album, “Taken,” that same year. Featuring special guests Dolly Parton, Richard Marx, and Little Roy Lewis the album entered the Top Bluegrass Albums chart at Number 1.

“Having my own label was a good choice for me because I like to produce the music that I sell,” says Vincent. “Everything is done from the heart, not from the point of bankruptcy. What do I feel in my heart? If a song makes my heart jump then I gotta think it’s going to affect others from that very basic thing.”

“We have a new song that’s coming out in a few weeks,” adds Vincent. “It’s been couple years since I had a normal CD. To get back in the marketplace right away, having my own label we can do whatever we want to. It seems to be a single game these days, so I’m releasing a single versus an album.”

I had a Christmas album come out last year called “Christmas Time,” says Vincent. “It couldn’t be just a normal album. I always like to make it something special or do something extra. I did a celebrity twelve days of Christmas, which was so tedious and challenging but so rewarding. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. The Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels, Willie Nelson, Larry Gatlin, Laurie Morgan. That was my big project last year.”

A fifth-generation musician, Vincent’s career spans more than four decades. As a member of her families band “The Sally Mountain Show,” she first attained success in the 70’s as a burgeoning blue grass singer, songwriter and musician.

"Dad used to pick me up after school, and Grandpa would come over and we played until after dinner almost every night,” recalls Vincent. ”There wasn’t a lot going on in Greentop, but it was always hopping at the Vincent house."

Competing on, and winning the Nashville Network TV series "You Can Be A Star," Vincent was signed to a recording contract and never looked back. She released her debut solo album “New Dreams and Sunshine” in 1988.

Vincent, now 52, continues to flourish as an accomplished vocalist, guitarist, mandolin and fiddle player. With nearly two-dozen highly regarded albums releases to her credit, she has spent the past decade and a half enjoying her greatest success as a recording artist and performer.

The recipient of numerous awards from the International Blue Grass Music Association (IBMA) and the Society for the Preservation of Blue Grass Music of America for “Best Album,”  “Best Female Vocalist, “Entertainer of the Year” and “Best Instrumental Album,” Vincent is a creative force in the bluegrass community. 

“There are a lot of things that you have to have to be successful when it comes to having a great song in a highly competitive music industry,” says Vincent.   “You have to have a great song. There’s a lot of stuff out there these days so the content has to be something different that they haven’t heard. Then you have the shows and you have to do the interviews. You have to do the work. I just try to stay abreast of all the things that are going on and see how it applies to me. Not everything applies.”

“My dad always said ‘Don’t let anyone say you can’t do something,’ adds Vincent. “If there is a challenge than I need to find it. ‘How do we need to do this and what are the rules?’ Not getting so hung up that you focus on the negative. Focus on the positive and how can we do this.”

In 1987 Vincent and her entire family launched and hosted the inaugural “The Sally Mountain Bluegrass Festival.” Traditionally held around the 4th of July, fans from throughout the U.S. and abroad return to Queen City, MO. annually to experience some of the finest bluegrass you will hear anywhere. Rhonda Vincent and The Rage headline this year’s concert, which takes place June 29 through July 3.

“We have so much fun when we play live that it transfers from the stage to the audience,” says Vincent. “There is something for everyone. We have the traditional, we have contemporary and we have gospel. I think that’s why our demographics are very wide. Everybody from a baby to great grandma can come to our show. It’s a family atmosphere. Fans leave the show happy, laughing and having a great time.”

“We’re very blessed and very fortunate,” adds Vincent.  I work with incredible people. The musicianship in itself, we stand together and they just amaze me. I’m really thankful. It’s a way of life that evolved into a career so it’s something that’s very natural. I’m so thrilled to be making a living doing something that I love.”

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage perform at the Sellersville Theater; located at 24 West Temple Ave., Sellersville, PA, Thursday April 14, 2016 at 8:00 P.M. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-257-5808 or on-line at www.st94.com

To stay up to date with Rhonda Vincent visit www.rhondavincent.com

http://www.tickettoentertainment.com/blog/2016/04/08/rhonda-vincent-and-the-rage-bring-a-taste-of-the-deep-south-to-sellersville/

OZ NOY, JIMMY HASLIP AND DAVE WECKL PLAY SELLERSVILLE 4/15/16


 
The Oz Noy Trio, featuring Dave Weckl and Jimmy Haslip, to appear at Sellersville

By Rob Nagy

“Who Gives A Funk” is the latest album release from Israeli born guitar virtuoso Oz Noy. The ten-song release offers a diverse and captivating musical adventure of original compositions and interpretations of works by James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Charles Mingus and Thelonius Monk.

One of Noy’s finest albums, a powerful and masterfully executed blend of jazz, funk, rock, blues and R&B, with a touch of big band, brings the infectious sounds of the 60’s and 70’s into the present.

Featured are guest appearances by Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford, Randy Brecker, Dweezil Zappa, Chris Potter, Fred Weasley, Corey Glover, John Medeski and members of Stevie Ray Vaughn's Double Trouble.

“My mission was to write stuff that was simple, soulful and catchy, which is by far the hardest thing to do,” says Noy, while on tour in Europe. “That was quite the challenge. It’s much easier to write complicated music than simple music! It’s Jazz. It just doesn’t sound like it.”

“When you’re in the studio, you’re trying to be as free and relaxed as you are when you play live,” adds Noy. “But it’s a different state of mind, ‘cause everything is so microscopic in the studio.   It takes time to get used to it.  It’s very challenging and takes years and years of experience.”

A prodigy determined to make music his life’s work, Noy recalls his earliest lure to music.

“I was drawn to drums first, and a friend of mine was studying guitar and took me to see a lesson and that was that,” recalls Noy. “I have no idea why I was attracted to it.  I was really into the Beatles and, once a friend of my brother started to come to our house and play Beatles songs, I was hooked.”

“I wasn’t a sensation. I was just really young when I started to play professionally,” recalls Noy. “I was doing recording sessions and playing with well known artists since (I was) about 14-15 years old.”

“I don’t know how to do anything else and never really thought about it, “adds Noy. “Its’ just a natural thing that you start doing when you’re young, and it becomes your life. I really never thought about it. I just always did it. Playing definitely takes you to another place.  It’s kind of a healing thing in a way to your body, mind & soul.”

Playing professionally at age 13, Noy had a visible passion for experimentation in a variety of genres. By his mid-teens his skills on the guitar were in demand by some of Israel’s most notable performers. A decade later, by now established as one of his country’s most treasured musicians, Noy set his sights on America.

Arriving with guitar in hand in New York City in 1996, Noy’s dreams were realized. Performing, touring and recording with an impressive roster of musicians, including Chris Botti, Harry Belafonte, Cyndi Lauper, John Patitucci, The East Village Opera Company, Roger Glover, Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule, The Allman Brothers, Allen Toussaint and Eric Johnson, among others, Noy’s talents remain consistently in demand.

Performing on commercial and film soundtracks such as “Auto Focus,” “Undefeated” and “Queer as Folk” (HBO) and “The Drug Years” (VH1), Noy also composed the soundtrack for the critically acclaimed documentary “A/K/A Tommy Chong” in 2006.

“I was very excited to come here,” recalls Noy. “The level of musicianship was very high! Much higher than what I was used to in Israel, which is the main reason why I moved to New York City. Playing with some of my idols and becoming friends with them is a whole other trip. I love that part! “

“I never felt any pressure ever. I just studied, practiced and tried to get better and just did what I was supposed to do whether there where expectations or not. Making good music and being around good people that are also good musicians is the reward.”

Noy released his debut album “Oz Live,” recorded at NYC’s legendary Bitter End, in 2003. A year later he signed with Magna Carta Records (Japan) and released the highly anticipated “HA!” album in 2005, featuring his all-star band Anton Fig, Keith Carlock, Will Lee and James Genus plus special guests Mike Stern and George Whitty.

Readers of Guitar Player Magazine paid homage to Noy voting him “Best guitar riff on a record” (2007), “Best new talent” (2008), and “Best out there guitar player” (2013).

A sought after instructor that thrives on sharing his artistry, Noy conducts master classes at The Collective School of Music in New York City, and the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles.  He has released a series of acclaimed instructional DVD’s and videos, “Guitar Improvisational Workout,” “Play Along Workout,” “Improv Wizard,” “Neck” and “Blues, Bends and Beyond.”

“The curiosity to try something new and love for music continues to drive me,” says Noy. “I never had many expectations other than being a musician, hopefully a really good one. I still love it as much as when I started 30 years ago!  I just wanted to play good music with good musicians and have a good life… that’s not much to ask, I think.”

Currently on tour in support of “Who Gives A Funk,” Noy will bring his power trio to the Philadelphia area when he invades the Sellersville Theater in mid April.

“We’ll play music from all my records.  I have 8 out including the new record.  We’ll be focusing on the new album a bit more,” says Noy. “The band, Dave Weckl and Jimmy Haslip, are fantastic!”

“I would like people to go away with my new record in their hands,” adds Noy. “Also I would love it if they enjoy the experience and have a good time – with joy, fun, love, all the good feelings.  As long as it’s a positive feeling I did my job. Music is about making people feel good. The world needs good music.”

The Oz Noy Trio will perform at the Sellersville Theater; located at 24 West Temple Ave., Sellersville, PA, Friday April 15, 2016 at 8:00 P.M. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-257-5808 or on-line at www.st94.com.

To stay up to date with Oz Noy, visit www.oznoy.com.

http://www.tickettoentertainment.com/blog/2016/04/08/the-oz-noy-trio-featuring-dave-weckl-and-jimmy-haslip-heading-for-sellersville/

CHICK COREA MAKES HIS BERKS JAZZ FEST DEBUT 4/9/16



Chick Corea and Bela Fleck
to share the stage at Berks Jazz Fest

By Rob Nagy

A prolific member of the jazz community for decades, American jazz icon Chick Corea is revered for his groundbreaking piano and keyboard instrumentation and original composition. Described as one of the major jazz piano voices to emerge in the post-John Coltrane era, Corea consistently reinvents himself whether performing straight ahead jazz, fusion, bebop or classical works.

A Downbeat Magazine Hall of Famer, Corea has received the NEA Jazz Masters Award, the highest honor that our nation bestows on a jazz artist. The recipient of 22 American Grammy Awards and 3 Latin Grammy Awards, the most of any artist in the “Best Instrumental Album” category, Corea’s unparalleled talent and creative output has made him a legend in his own time.

In support of his latest duet release with Bela Fleck, entitled “Two,” Corea will make his Berks Jazz Festival debut this coming weekend.

“Bela and I played so many fun concerts together over the past year and a half that it seemed a great idea to just let our audience in on those moments through a live recording,” says Corea, in a recent email interview. “In a broad sense, all of my touring projects are collaborations in my mind. With my new band Vigil, for instance, I wrote the music, found the musicians, recorded and then toured for several years with these relatively young musicians. It’s been a joy and a true collaboration.  I learned a tremendous amount. Collaboration is the way I like to make music -whether it's with someone established and well-known like Bela or my young band - by improvising and constantly recreating our set, some new pieces, even some classical music.  I’m looking forward to it.”

Corea and Fleck released a duet album, “The Enchantment,” in 2007. Fleck was nominated in the Best Instrumental Composition category at the 49th Grammy Awards for the track "Spectacle.”

“There are just too many great moments to review in a short moment like this,” adds Corea. “I treasure all my musical relationships. They are the richness of my life and a good part of my pay for living.” 

An integral member of Miles Davis’ band in the late 60’s, Corea played a significant creative role in the birth of the electric jazz-fusion movement. He appeared on Davis’ landmark studio and live albums “Filles de Kilimanjaro” (1968), “In a Silent Way” (1969), “Bitches Brew” (1971), “Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East” (1970) and “Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West” (1973).

Embarking on a solo career on the side in 1966, Corea released his classic solo album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs” (1968).  He formally left Davis’ band to form the avant-garde acoustic jazz group “Circle” in 1970.

Revered for his innovative style on both the piano and electric keyboard, Corea founded the legendary “Return To Forever.”  That super-group featured members Stanley Clarke, Joe Farrell, Airto, Flora Purim, Bill Connors, Lenny White and, later, Al DiMeola. Merging jazz-fusion and Latin jazz elements, Corea’s “Spain,” which appeared on the 1972 “Return to Forever” album “Light as a Feather,” became his most popular piece.

Reuniting in 2008, “Return to Forever,” then featuring Corea (keyboards), Stanley Clarke (bass), Lenny White (drums) and Al DiMeola (guitar), toured the world. A number of the group's studio recordings were re-released on the compilation “Return to Forever: The Anthology” in 2008.

Corea, 74, thrives in the studio and on the concert stage as a solo artist and collaborator working with such luminaries as Gary Burton, Stan Getz, Larry Coryell, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Mann, Joe Henderson and Herbie Hancock.

“I like to communicate with my musicians and the audience - interchange emotions with them,” says Corea. “I experience the joy of creating this way and sometimes feel lucky and smart that I’ve chosen music as my life’s work. I love to create and I do a lot of it.”

Celebrating a retrospective of his music in 2011, Corea performed with “The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra” in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

“It sounds like I’m writing my epitaph,” says Corea. “I don’t get much pleasure out of evaluating my life. I like to see the smiling and pleased faces of my audiences each night. That’s my measure of success. I feel a pride in my own competence to produce these positive effects. I don’t think of it.  In fact, I don’t even “consider myself” in that way. I like to extrovert and create music for others to enjoy - always have.” 

“The future is what each one of us will create together,” adds Corea. “I like to think positively that there will be more and more participation in jazz and all the arts and that creative and improvised music will continue to be created and inspire people. That’s what I work towards. I always hope to bring some pleasure to my audiences.”

Chick Corea and Bela Fleck will perform at the Berks Jazz Fest Saturday April 9, 2016 at 8:00 P.M. For a complete list of concerts, venues and ticket information, visit www.berksjazzfest.com

http://www.tickettoentertainment.com/blog/2016/04/07/chick-corea-and-bela-fleck-to-share-the-stage-at-berks-jazz-fest/

JAKE SHIMABUKURO RETURNS TO THE COLONIAL THEATER 4/17/16



Jake Shimabukuro, Taking the ukulele
 to the world

By Rob Nagy

Had it not been for the advent of YouTube, the world may have never heard of Hawaiian ukulele phenom Jake Shimabukuro.

Filmed in 2006 while playing a virtuosic rendition of George Harrison’s "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for a New York TV show, a video of Shimabukuro’s performance was posted on YouTube and went viral.  After receiving more than 13 million views, Shimabukuro became an overnight global sensation. A decade later, he is synonymous with the ukulele.

His 2016 release, “Jake Shimabukuro: Live In Japan,” is a double CD 15 song collection of original compositions and cover songs that exemplifies the creative diversity of this amazing artist. Backed by Nolan Verner (bass) and Michael Grande (keyboards), Shimabukuro delivers a flawless performance abundant with the energy, passion and fan interaction that has become his signature stage show.

“This year marked the 15th anniversary of my debut in Japan,” recalls Shimabukuro, while on tour in Nashville, Tennessee. “I thought it would be kind of cool to release an in-Japan live record just to recognize that. My shows are so different in Japan than in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world. I think it was cool for people outside Japan to get a sense of what the vibe and energy is like when we do play Japan. The audience will clap along. I speak in Japanese. It’s just a whole different side of me of that I hoped would be interesting and a bit comical for people who’ve never been to a show in Japan.”

“The bass player, Norman Belford, and I have been playing together for over a year,” adds Shimabukuro. “He’s a fine musician and a wonderful cat to play with. Just for the Japan show I had a buddy of mine, who is from Hawaii.  His name is Michael Grande and he plays keyboards.
This is the first time that I played in this configuration. Normally if I do a trio it’s with bass and drums. This is the first time that I didn’t use drums, and I just went bass and keys. I think it worked out nicely. I really enjoyed the sound and the subtle texture that the keyboard could add to what the bass and ukulele were doing.”

“You definitely feel like you’re there,” says Shimabukuro regarding the CD. “We didn’t do any editing to the music. It was hard, because a lot of times you want to go back and tweak things or think  ‘I wish I had done this instead.’ I learned that, once you start changing that, you might fix the timing of something, but then there’s something that gets lost that’s more crucial than just playing a chord or something not lining up that just adds to the feel and element of a live album. I really just had to tie my hands behind my back and not change anything. I’m glad I did, because now going back and listening to it I’m glad we didn’t touch things because it just feels good. We left the audience mics a little hotter than the mix so that you can get a sense of the energy from the audience. When I listen to it, I feel like I’m back in Japan playing. It really did, I think, capture the ambience and the energy and the vibe of the performance. I’m really happy with it.”

A hit dating back to the late 90’s in his home land of Hawaii and in Japan, Shimabukuro’s ability to combine elements of jazz, blues, funk, rock, bluegrass, classical, folk, and flamenco resonated with fans, elevating his popularity and the appreciation for the ukulele to unforeseen heights.

The exposure he received from his “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” video accelerated demand for Shimabukuro as a concert draw. Offers to collaborate creatively came from Cyndi Lauper, Bela Fleck, Jimmy Buffett and Yo-Yo Ma, among others.

Signed to Sony Records (Japan), Shimabukuro subsequently formed his own label in 2002 (Hitchhike Records) to expand his distribution beyond Japan and Hawaii.  His solo works include “Sunday Morning” (2002), “Crosscurrent” (2003), “Walking Down Rainhill” (2004), “Dragon” (2005), “Gently Weeps” (2006), “Live” (2009) and “Peace Love Ukulele” (2011), which reached Number 1 on Billboard’s Top World Music list. 

Shimabukuro is the recipient of multiple Hawaii Music, Na Hoku Hanohano and Billboard Magazine Awards for “Album of the Year” and “Entertainer of the Year.”

The subject of the 2012 award winning documentary “Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings,” Shimabukuro’s passion for his instrument finds him routinely striving to expand his creativity.  

“You develop this relationship with your instrument,” say Shimabukuro. “I love sitting with the instrument, looking at it and saying, ‘How can I make this sound better?”’ Trying different things, that’s what I love. I figure out what I can add to the music.  I think, ‘what can I contribute with my sound and my instrument?’ That’s why I love playing different genres.”

“Playing the ukulele has always brought me so much joy,” adds Shimabukuro. “I love problem solving. That’s how I look at my approach to the ukulele. Every time I come across a difficult piece of music, it’s a problem. How am I going to solve this? Whether I’m tackling a concerto or Bohemian Rhapsody or a jazz standard, how am I going to make this work on the ukulele? What do I have to do? I love breaking things down. You take things step-by-step, focusing on one measure at a time, and figure out the best way to play it. It’s like the Holy Grail. You keep searching and searching. It’s something I’ll probably never be satisfied with, but the whole process is fun and inspiring.”

Jake Shimabukuro performs at the Colonial Theater, located at 227 Bridge Street in Phoenixville, PA Sunday April 17, 2016 at 8:00 P.M. Tickets are available at the Colonial Theatre Box Office by calling 610-917-1228 or on-line at www.thecolonialtheatre.com. All ages are welcome at the Colonial.

To stay up to date with Jake Shimabukuro, visit www.jakeshimabukuro.com.

http://www.tickettoentertainment.com/blog/2016/04/08/for-jake-shimabukuro-playing-the-ukulele-is-a-source-of-joy-he-shares-the-fun-at-the-colonial-in-phoenixvlle/