“I immediately fell in love with the sound of the ‘ukulele…my passion for the instrument became an addiction—it was impossible to tear me away from my Kamaka ‘uke.”


Jake Shimabukuro is a Japanese American ‘ukulele virtuoso known for his blinding, complex finger work. The 38-year-old Honolulu-based recording artist found his genuine passion for music early on — and that discovery has given his whole life focus and purpose.

As the story goes, he started playing ‘ukulele at the tender age of four. Actually, his mom was his first teacher and taught him a few basic chords. Immediately, Shimabukuro fell in love with its sound and he was hooked. It was impossible to tear him away from the instrument and he practiced diligently every day.

“Today, I love playing the ‘ukulele just as much as I did as a kid,” he says. “It brings me so much happiness and has transformed my life. I realize how lucky I am to have found a passion at such a young age. Music has given me something very positive to focus on. And I’m so grateful to my mother for introducing me to the ‘ukulele.”

He goes on to say: “One day, I hope that everyone would discover his or her passion. And I hope that it’ll bring them joy and fulfillment for the rest of their life.”

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