There aren’t many people I’m in absolute awe over.
As a reporter I’ve met everyone from high-level politicians to A-list celebrities.
But I’m part of that proverbial “tough crowd,” where it takes a lot to impress me.
So it might come as a surprise to you when I divulge who does: Jake Shimabukuro.
It’s not because he’s easily one of the most accomplished and innovative ukulele artists in the world. Or that his style of playing has revolutionized the entire industry. Or that he’s catapulted to international stardom all while maintaining his local — hey, he’s a Kaimuki High grad! — roots.
Those are definitely factors.
But he’s high on my list because, honestly, he’s one of the nicest, most sincere people you’ll ever met. He’s the kind of guy who’ll greet everyone with a smile and a big hug. He’ll look you in the eye when you’re talking to him and he’ll answer any question with total, unabashed honesty.
You don’t see that very often.
Well, Jake was nice enough to meet up with me at his label — Hitchhike Records — office in Waikiki to chat about his new album, “Love Peace Ukulele,” which comes out on Jan. 4, his new partnership with Farmers Insurance Hawaii, and even play a new track — an original called “143” — for us.
Check it out!
Got other people you want to see me interview? Post your suggestions here! We love hearing from you!
To read all of Cat’s blogs, visit www.nonstophonolulu.com/thedailydish. Follow Cat on Twitter @thedailydish or send her an e-mail at [email protected]
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Nice interview. Jake’s a cool guy. I didn’t know he ran a marathon, Good for him.
So awesome. Thanks Cat and Jake. Mean how he plays that ukulele. MEAN!!! 🙂
a few years ago,on the same day, i toured Kamaka’s south street factory, and in Waikiki, watched a uke class being taught in a retail music store. i had noticed a lot more people on the street and at the beach carrying and playing ukuleles. at both locations the name Jake Shimabukuro was mentioned. i didn’t know who that was. i found out. boy, did i find out. and so did Jimmy Buffett. somewhere, Hendrix is looking down and saying ‘holy s***!
Some people were just meant to make music. That was thoroughly enjoyable. Somehow, Farmers Insurance seems a whole lot more cool now.
That was fun… mighty fine picking indeed. I have to say the most fun was that bit at the end about the should have said I was going to learn to play the ukulele 🙂
And for the record, today is December 29th. january 4th is in 3 dats right 3 couple of days. Always on the aloha time eh Cat?
I enjoy watching your “Cat Chat” episodes. I thought that it might be interesting if you interviewed Lehua Kalima of Na Leo Pilimehana. I heard that she is working on a solo album. She is a great singer and composer and has written a lot of terrific songs for Na Leo. I am happy to hear about her solo work but I hope this does not mean that she is planning to leave Na Leo for a solo career. When she sings with Nalani and Angela, they create a very special magical sound.
@Sunshine Thanks for the suggestion! I could get used to be serenaded every week!
“But I’m part of that proverbial “tough crowd,” where it takes a lot to impress me.
So it might come as a surprise to you when I divulge who does: Jake Shimabukuro.”
Actually Cat, if you are indeed tough to impress, then it shouldn’t be a surprise at all that Jake impresses you. He’s about as impressive as they come!
Always good to see how far the young uns have come! I remember seeing so many musicians when they were young and just coming out… Jake and the boys with Pure Heart at Kahala Mall before their first album, Matt Swalinkavich (a.k.a. Makana) as a sixteen year old at Hot Lava Cafe, Brittni Paiva, Danny Carvalho, and many others when they were all still green… what talented youngsters we have in this state!
@MaxMaxMax Were you still in HNL when Hank’s Cafe, in Kaimuki, was open and featured some of the talent you mentioned? I remember when Matt Swalinkavich (pre “Makana”) was playing in Manoa, but I can’t remember the name of the place.
@harrycovair Ah, that was Shipley’s. I used to watch him there a lot too! Shipley’s eventually became Donato’s, then Thai Sweet Basil, etc.
CAT: Guud interview. Your skills are getting better and better. Noticed less hair stroking…a sign of nervousness. Soon you will be ready for a bigger tube?
@Annoddah_Dave I stroke my hair? Ai-yay. I didn’t realize that. I probably do that because I hate my hair and I don’t brush it. 🙂
Very cool–thanks Cat and Jake! High-level politicians and A-list celebrities attract interviews, but can be D-list citizens. Interests such as “getting into shape,” “making the world a better place,” and soldiering on without Sony, make Jake the real deal.
This was a very good interview! Now you have to figure out who you want to interview next Cat. I like these down to earth interviews with people who tend to stay out of the limelight. They may not make the daily news but they influence some part of our lives.
@harrycovair I agree. I want to interview this 93-year-old woman who still works as a seamstress in Makiki.
nice inteview. seems like a fun guy. they might be a little on the older side for your young, hip crowd, but how about inteviewing Chris Kamaka (Kamaka Ukulele, Hookena) or Eddie Kamae. might show some of the kids the roots.