Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Jake Shimabukuro November 1, 2014

Jake Shimabukuro Raises up the Ukulele at Cerritos

                 By Glen Creason

     The ukulele has a rather short and simple history since it was developed in the Hawaiian Islands in the late 19th century, inspired by Portuguese instruments and made popular world-wide by the Pan-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. It has since been hugely popular all over the world and used by amateurs and a few professionals to perform small songs with zippy melodies. Enter Jake Shimabukuro, the young Phenom who opened the instrument to unlimited potential and has practically broken YouTube with some of his dazzling performances with the uke.  Apparently, a good portion of those impressed YouTube millions were just waiting for Jake to visit So Cal and the Performing Arts Center was thrillingly packed to the rafters for this Saturday show.  At 36 the guy has already been compared to Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis which would make most of us want to stop there. Yet, he plays like he loves the instrument and wants to prove its beauty in every note.  He praised the great hall when he came to the stage and then put his hands on the ukulele, the rest is hall history.

      Shimabukuro did not disappoint, as a matter of fact he took the adoring crowd past their expectations to places none of us knew existed in this kind of music.  He was charming, poised, humble and talented beyond what even his fans could expect. He played fast (Orange World, Uke 5-0, Dragon, Thriller!, Third Stream), he played with soul (Sakura, Ichigo Ichie, 153, Hi ilawe, In My Life) he strummed heart-strings (Blue Roses Falling, Ave Maria, Boy Meets Girl) and throughout he climbed great musical mountains without ever looking anything but exhilarated. It certainly did not hurt that he had his entire repertoire resting on a fine bass platform provided by handsome Nolan Verner who seemed to be having almost as much fun as Shimabukuro. By the end of the nearly two hour banquet of sound Jake Shimabukuro merely had to begin a couple of notes of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” to a pin-drop silence that ended with his last note, followed by a huge standing ovation.


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