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Jake Shimabukuro, the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the Ukulele,’ Releases Album Produced by Alan Parsons

Jake Shimabukuro, Alan Parsons
Merri Cyr, David Livingston, Getty Images

Jake Shimabukuro is well on his way to becoming the first ukulele rock star. The Hawaiian born performer has released ‘Grand Ukulele,’ an album produced by legendary rock producer Alan Parsons. It’s a pairing that justifies his nickname, the “Jimi Hendrix of ukulele.”

“ I thought Alan’s microphone placement for my ukulele was interesting,” Shimabukuro tells Ultimate Classic Rock of working with the ‘Abbey Road’ producer. “He placed one microphone under the neck of the instrument and another above the body.  No microphones were placed in front. The tone was amazing. The ukulele sounds enormous.”

Amongst the songs on ‘Grand Ukulele’ (available now) are his instrumental version of ‘Over the Rainbow’ and a cover of Adele‘s ‘Rolling in the Deep.’ The 35-year-old has also included rock covers in his shows, like Queen‘s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ seen below.

“Jake’s quiet and humble manner belies his monumental talent as a musician,” Parsons said. “It’s obvious he enjoys his chosen profession. Every note is played with ultimate precision. Given the choice, I don’t think he would ever put his ukulele down!”

Shimabukuro includes a 29-piece orchestra on songs from ‘Grand Ukulele,’ his 11th recording. He’s earned numerous awards for his work and been recognized by stars like Eddie Vedder and Jimmy Buffett. It was Guitar Player that called him the Jimi Hendrix of the instrument, but other magazines like Rolling Stone have recognized his talents, saying ”One of the hottest axemen of the past few years doesn’t actually play guitar.”

Next: October 2012 New Music Releases

Watch Jake Shimabukuro Perform Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on Ukulele

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