At the 2003 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in Honolulu last week, ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro won 2 Hokus for Instrumental Album of the Year (for "Sunday Morning") and Favorite Entertainer of the Year. The Hokus are the local equivalent of the Grammys.
I happened to be on vacation in Hawaii at the time and caught Jake at Chai's Island Bistro the following night. It was a huge fete, with Jake presenting leis to his ohana (everyong from his recording company's executives to his ukulele teacher, Dr. Trey, were in attendance). Champagne flowed and we all toasted Jake with a traditional "banzai!" What an incredible night: he played everything from Okinawan folk music to Beethoven and Lennon/McCartney. My wife and kids--who are generally lukewarm about all things ukulele--were spellbound. We left after two continuous hours of playing and he was still going strong. Wonder how long his wrist held out. Don't miss him if you have the chance! Link Discuss