Episode 140 - Jake Shimabukuro

A conversation with Jake Shimabukuro

A conversation with Jake Shimabukuro



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recorded June 19, 2019
published July 25, 2019

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We met up with Jake before his concert in front of a sold out crowd at Cary Memorial Hall in Lexington Massachusetts.

Jake became an international sensation in 2006 when a YouTube video of him playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps in Central Park - without his knowledge - became one of the very first viral videos on that site with millions of views.

Jake plays the ukulele - which we also discovered can be pronounced "Ookelele". He has performed at numerous festivals including the Stockholm Jazz Festival and Blue

Click for the Jake Shimabukuro Spotify Playlist

Click for the Jake Shimabukuro Spotify Playlist

Mountains Music Festival and has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live, A Prairie Home Companion, NPR’s Morning Edition and World Cafe, and has spoken at several TED conferences.

In 2012, an award-winning documentary was released tracking his life, career, and music, titled Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings.

Jake is the founder The Four Strings Foundation, which creates music education workshops nationwide and provides ukuleles and other materials and training tools to schools and music teachers.

photo credit: Michelle Gendreau

Music in this episode

Song 1: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Song 2: Courtesy of WCRB
Song 3: Bohemian Rhapsody
Song 4: Chuck Minor (a brand new song!!!!)
Song 4: The Greatest Day

Show Notes

Chuck 2:59 Hello, Chuck from Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation we met up with Jake Shimabukuro before his concert in front of a sold out crowd at Cary Hall in Lexington, Massachusetts. Jake became an international sensation in 2006 when a YouTube video of him playing 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' in Central Park without his knowledge became one of the very first viral videos on that site with millions of views. Jake plays the ukulele which we also discovered can be pronounced 'ookulele'. He has performed at numerous festivals including the Stockholm Jazz Festival and Blue Mountains Music Festival and has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Jimmy Kimmel Live a Prairie Home Companion, NPR's Morning Edition and World Cafe and has spoken at several TED conferences. In 2012. an award winning documentary was released tracking his life, career and music titled "Jake Shimabukuro -Life On Four Strings. Jake is the founder of the Four Strings Foundation, which creates music education workshops nationwide, and provides ukuleles and other materials and training tools to schools and music teachers. He is currently finishing up a new album, and we'll let him talk about that later. We really enjoyed our conversation and I even had a song created just for me in this episode, which I am sure will go viral as well. So here is our conversation with Jake Shimabukuro recorded at Cary Hall in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Ronnie 4:32 Jake Shema....

Chuck 4:34 I knew you're gonna screw it up - say it again

Ronnie 4:36 Jake, Jake Shimabukuro Jake Shimabukuro,

Jake 4:40 That's perfect.

Chuck 4:41 We just said it twice. He said, it's perfect both times.

Ronnie 4:43 Jake - My name is Ron.Yeah. And its emphasis on the boot on the bu. So Shimabukuro. We're really happy that you're on tour, and you're passing through our neck of the woods.

Jake 4:59 No, no, thank thanks. beautiful neck of the woods.

Chuck 5:02 Have you been here before?

Jake 5:04 Yes. But that's it this morning. We kind of walked around. It was a gorgeous day. And everyone's so friendly here. So nice. We've Yeah, I mean, just in my experience this morning. We're sitting here,

Ronnie 5:17 but it is funny to hear that from the in general, the Northeast, we, I guess it's stereotypical, we think of the reserved, you know, like... And I know you, you hail from Hawaii, on Oahu. That's how you met Lisa Wong above the basement alumni.

Jake 5:34 Well, actually, I met her through another mutual friend named Mark Churchill. He is a professor at the NEC. And I met him at at the TED conference back in 2010. I gave a TED talk in California, and we got talking and became friends exchanged numbers. And he actually introduced me to Lisa.I was a little embarrassed because she's from Hawaii, although she doesn't live there anymore. But she was born and raised there. But she's so brilliant. Yeah, and I know she's coming tonight. So I'm excited to see her because I missed her last two visits to Hawaii. And I usually see her whenever she comes through Hawaii.

Chuck 6:13 We watched the document I want a documentary made about me. Because the last band we talked about, we talked to this band called Circus Trees, they had documentary made about them, and they only like 13, 15 and 17 years old. And we saw that we saw the Jake documentary. We watched that this past week. And I'm feeling a little left out.

Jake 6:35 I was like, I couldn't believe when they approached me. His name was Don Young, he works for CAM its Center for Asian American Media and they're based in they're based in the Bay Area. And he flew out to Hawaii and and met with us and pitched us the idea and I say we are you sure you want to wait me? thing on me and? And yeah, he said that he had he enjoyed my story. And he thought it would it would, you know, be something very positive that he thought, you know, they could share with with PBS and but, but then he connected me with this wonderful director, young talented director named Tad Nakamura. And yeah, we just kind of hit it off

Chuck 7:24 How long did he follow you around for?

Jake 7:26

about two years.

Chuck 7:28 Holy moly, really. A long time.

Jake 7:32 They came out on tour with us. He came with us to Japan and all over the states and spend a lot of time with me in Hawaii, he interviewed by family and you know, and my wife family, they don't like being in front of the camera, except for my my brother, my brothers didn't mind. But, you know, my dad, my mom, my wife, you know, the they don't like being in front of the camera. But but it was funny because when they interviewed my mom, my mom was so nervous. And she's like, you I'm even the night before she couldn't sleep. And she so so what she said she said, she told me Jake. I gotta have a couple beers before they come. I said no, I don't think you should drink. She's like, no, I, I'm so nervous. I'm not going to be able to talk. So I was like, okay, so she had a couple of beers. And

Ronnie 8:22 in the kitchen,

Jake 8:22 maybe a few more.

Ronnie 8:25 She was interviewed in the kitchen.

Jake 8:27 And then the guys came, she was so relaxed when they came, you know, and she was like trying to get them to drink and they're like. I think my family especially my mom, I think she really got a kick out in that, you know,

Chuck 8:42 Was there anything you learned through the your own documentary that you didn't know, before it was shown to you on film? I'm always wondering if there's like when people watching documentaries about themselves

Jake 8:52 It's funny, there was I guess there was so much footage of me tuning my ukulele that even when I wasn't playing, you know, I chose some footage of me just tuning before we even took a photo right? I just tuned before we started the podcast,

Chuck 9:05 Its like a habit?

Jake 9:07 So I think I just I just have this thing where I always want my ukulele tuned or something.

Ronnie 9:12 it's kind of like putting on your shoes in the morning, I would imagine you've been doing this since you were four years old. This is a part of you.

Jake 9:17 Yeah, I mean, I started playing when I was four. And you know, my mom, she was my first teacher and got me into it. And I fell in love with it. And music has just gotten me through some so many things. I mean, like all the the lowest times in my life, when I reflect back, you know, I always had the ukulele to kind of helped me through those times. But then a lot of the high points in my life, music was involved. So to me, it's just it's a coincidence that I think I became a professional musician today. But even if I weren't making a living, doing music, I would still be playing, I think it helps me in all aspects of my life, you know, it brings me joy. And I've met a lot of people who have that passion and love that are, you know, leading their field leaders in their own field, but a lot of them play an instrument, or a lot of them have some kind of love or a very special, close connection to to music and the arts.

Ronnie 10:16 One of the things that struck me speaking of your childhood, and how they directed it in such a way that they started with your LA performance, I think in a major concert hall, but what they did, and anyone that sees this Life on Four Strings is, what they did was they flashed Jake to a school setting, it was this juxtaposition of you being this, like you said, professional, fast forward, you're traveling the world, but at the same time, you're sitting in a classroom with a few kids, and you're making a connection, what does that feel like when you have the command of not the audience, not the people paying to see you tonight, but the kids and to know that they may pick up the same ukulele or maybe maybe another instance. And that could be their method of healing, you're giving them that tool,

Jake 11:03 I love working with kids in the classroom in that environment. For me, it's so powerful, because I can see everyone's face, I can see their expression in a concert hall, you know, you can maybe see the first two or three rows, but that's about it. But in a classroom, you're actually connecting with every single person in that room, you know, including the teachers or the parents who are there, you can make that contact that connection with everyone and you can you can experience the joy that they're feeling. And you can always pick out a few that you know, at least one where you know, they don't have that experience. Often, those are the ones that I really try to focus my attention on. Because I feel like the the feeling of joy, or fulfillment or happiness, you know, whatever you want to call it, I think of it as like a muscle, the more you experience it, the easier it is to get there. But if you don't ever experience it, you don't know what that feeling is like, so you don't know what you're missing. And if you don't screen so often enough, it's hard to to get there all the time, right. But if you can give, especially I think children or or any individual, if you can give them more moments of feeling that joy of using the muscles, where when you feel joy, it's not just a mental thing. It's It's It's physical, its mental, its spiritual, you know, it's all three things. And the more they experienced that, then they start exercising all those muscles and everything that's needed to

Ronnie 12:29 I like that - Exercise joy.

Chuck 12:30 I don't know, if you saw something that went viral. The Hayden Society here in Boston was doing the recording a live recording that they were going to put out as a CD. And so they finished the recording. And you know, after for classical music, you know, no one's supposed to clap between pieces, right? It's very confusing. No one knows how to no one knows when to clap or not to clap. And then all of a sudden, this little boy....

And everyone started laughing. And they started applauding. It was like that little kid reminded everybody of the joy and surprise of something that was so beautiful and affected the boy so much that he just yelled out, wow, people do forget about the joy of music. And they're kind of surprised when they're reminded of it either through a kid or even just go into a concert that they don't get to see very often.

Jake 13:36 I mean, I've been to so many concerts like that, where you know, in between movements, you're so moved, but you feel like..

Chuck 13:43 I know, I want everybody clap.

Ronnie 13:47 A quick sidebar, A Far Cry, we met with them on a conversation and a live a live event. They mentioned that same thing that the tides may be turning. And we're in a new era where I think people are going to examine classical music, but really get not so much hooting and hollering but more like experiencing it together, shouting out clapping, and that there's really should be no rules.

Jake 14:10 To me. I mean, my perspective is it's the release, you know, because it's like when you when you go through that that whole experience. And at the end of the experience, the musicians get that release in that split second where they actually relax their muscles, and they turn the page and take a breath, that's their release, the audience doesn't get that the audience has to refrain from giving their release, which is to applaud and to express their emotional gratitude for what they just experienced. But to me, I think it's, it's, it's a little unfair. Because as as a musician, I mean, even for myself when I'm playing a piece at the end of the piece, and I played that last note, and you're still in it, even as the note starts to decay, and to candy cane, and even when you can't hear it anymore. But you're still feeling it. You know, there's that those few seconds after that you can't even hear the note that you're still in that moment. And then you finally can

Ronnie 15:11 then you hear a kid go, Wow,

Jake 15:12 yeah, yeah, exactly. And and to me, I think that is, it's a beautiful connection between what just happened and what that child experience or what anyone in the audience experience, right? I

Chuck 15:25 that's exactly what happened. He pause that moment. It wasn't like immediately afterwards, it was a noticed moment of everyone kind of relishing in that second of silence when everything is done. And then he expressed his joy.

Ronnie 16:03 Do you play all by ear?

Jake 16:04 For the most part of my life? Yeah, it was all by year until I got to high school. And I played in the in the band. That's where I started learning to read music, but I'm not classically trained, you know. So if I'm arranging a classical piece, I go back to the source the squat, memorize it,

Ronnie 16:21 and like Bohemian Rhapsody,

Jake 16:22 so Bohemian Rhapsody was by ear.

Ronnie 16:46 So which takes me to My Guitar Gently Weeps all of a sudden, like, what? 2003? I don't know what it was. There's this crazy phenomenon called YouTube. What did it feel like for you at the time when, when that was happening?

Jake 17:01 So this was in 2005. Like you said, YouTube had just started out. So I, I didn't know what YouTube was. I had some friends call me and say, someone had emailed them a video of me playing in Central Park. And at the time, you couldn't email someone a video? I mean, that was not a thing yet. I was like, What are you talking about? So like, yeah, so they forwarded the email to me, and there was a link, it wasn't even called a link back then I forgot what they got. So you click on it, it takes you to the YouTube site. And then there was that video of me playing and that particular video because there were several uploading of this video, but that one didn't even have my name on it. I'll never forget the title said asian guy shreds on ukulele. That was the title, right? And already that had millions of views already. And I thought this can't be right, you know, and back then you didn't know the impact of what that meant? Or what views even really, truly men. So sighs just like, Oh, okay. Cool. And then I didn't think about it for a couple weeks. And then, but then my manager started getting calls from people

Ronnie 18:07 Because that part of it is what I'm also really fascinated with, is that you describing two parts of this, where it's like this phenomenon of the views and views and views and views and like, yeah, you don't really know what that means. But it's the impact that you mentioned, when you really think about it. Now we take it for granted in 2019. That was the tentacles of that, quote, Asian guy shredding. ukulele. Yeah, it was all over the world.

Jake 18:33 It was pretty incredible. Because after that, I had these opportunities, you know, to open for other bands or to tour with other bands and record with other musicians and artists. And these were people that were my heroes.

Ronnie 18:47 Imagine, like playing with them. Yeah,

Jake 18:49 The first band that I got to tour with was Bela Fleck and The Flecktones. I mean, it was crazy. I was back in 2006. I mean, and then after that, I I went on the road with Jimmy Buffett and the Core Reefers, I got to do some stuff with Jack Johnson and Ziggy Marley. And then shortly after that, that's when I got invited by Yo Yo Ma to record on his duets record, all this stuff started happening. And it just kind of blew me away. I mean,

Ronnie 19:19 All of those genres were kind of what we were just listening, and it shows you that it can, it can cross different genres and different audiences.

Jake 19:27 Like Eddie Vedder did a whole ukulele record.

Chuck 19:31 I'm sorry, "uke"?. That was that, how do you pronounce uke

Ronnie 19:36 say, ukulele?

Jake 19:37 or you can say Uke

Chuck 19:38 Yeah, I want to say correctly.

Ronnie 19:42 Awesome. Now, because we have Kevin Youkoulis. So everybody calls him Youk!

Chuck 19:47 He retired years ago, so

Ronnie 19:48 so it doesn't matter?

Chuck 19:50 It's not current. Can you at least be current?

Jake 19:52 Well, the thing is, like, I remember seeing, you know, of course, hearing recordings of these great orchestras, right, interpret, like Pink Floyd or queen or the Beatles. And then of course, also doing the classical music, but then also doing orchestral versions of jazz standards. To me, like the orchestra just covers so much ground, I mean, can cover any genre of music. So So with that in mind, as a kid, hearing all that stuff, seeing a, an interview with Andreas Segovia, you know, talking about the the guitar is his orchestra, you know, and he was doing these different techniques where he would say, like, this is my strings, and he would do, he would kind of do something like this. And this, this is theany, he'd be like, this is the percussion.

And then he'd be like, in the end the horns, you know, and he would pick way up by the, by the bridge,

kind of a more of a more of a breath, breath, as opposed to...you would have this staccato sounds. And he was just just explaining all of these going through all these different timbers and colors that he could get on the guitar. And I remember being so inspired by that, that's how I want to approach the quality, of course, it's never going to have the impact. But my approach can be that way, where I can get almost a similar feeling of like, what the strings would create, or what a brass would create, or what a drum set would create, or an electric guitar or bass, you know, bass guitar would create all of those different things. And, and that's what, that's what kind of led me on that path. And I thought, Man, it's not so much about the notes that I'm playing, you know, I mean, there's only so many notes, right, you know, everybody has the same amount of notes and Western music, but you can have infinite amount of temporary tone color. So if you can really focus on that on one instrument, then you've expanded your range, I mean, II mentally, right, because now I don't just have one D Note in a specific octave. But I have 100 different ways I can play that D,

Chuck 22:18 It reminds me of Mike Block, who's a cellist and we talked to him last summer, and he uses the entire instrument, it has a strap, so it's up here. So as you can walk around with it. And he's banging the side of it. And using not just a string, it's not just about the notes, but it's using all the different cameras of the acoustic and that's the beauty of the acoustic instrument is that you can actually use it more than electric, almost every single part of the instrument can be used for some sort of sound. And that really kind of opens up the door to a whole whole bunch of different types of music that you wouldn't necessarily be able to get with an electric instrument.

Ronnie 22:54 One thing I thought was really compelling was thinking about how you and I, I'm assuming some others, but how you've really taken the language of different types of music as you're discussing now whether it's classical all the way to shredding some some rock, but what you're able to do is to show the ukulele as a serious instrument. I thought that that was very telling what the music shop owner in Hawaii had discussed. It's not a toy, and a lot of us growing up in 70s and 80s. I mean it into the 90s. You know, I don't think it really reached some of the more professional stages. I think it got a bad rap. Does that something that you been told that you think about as far as your your foray into the world of view,

Jake 23:42 I was fortunate because because I was born and raised in Hawaii, I was always exposed to very well made alleles the Ukelele I played today's is made by the Camacho family. And they've been making ukuleles for over 100 years. They were truly the inventors of the modern day who Colella you know, they learned Portuguese immigrants who came over to the islands and they started building instruments. And that's, that's why we have the ukulele today, so but if I had grown up with the ukulele, but the only ukulele that I played growing up, were the plastic ones, you know, the $30 ones, right? Why would I take that instrument seriously?

Ronnie 24:19 So right, what I'm guessing i'm saying is that the plastic ones were created because of the cultural construct. I think that they were not considered like real guitars. And I think things have changed due to people like you and Jack Johnson. Amanda Palmer is a newer artists. She's actually from this town. Right?

Chuck 24:38 She's from Lexington. Yeah, Amanda, but

Jake 24:42 Yeah, I mean, even Paul McCartney's using the ukulele in his tour. But the flip side of it, though, is I embrace that perspective of the ukulele as well. I don't get upset when people don't take the colors seriously, because I don't think music or any instrument should be intimidating. I like that. I think that it should be I think people should look in an inch and be like, Oh, that looks like fun to play. Not Oh, that looks like hard work. Oh, I don't have the time or No, I'll never be able to do that. I don't have any talent. Right? If you feel like that, before you even pick up an instrument. You know, as a kid, if you had that perspective, you wouldn't play you wouldn't want to play anything.

Ronnie 25:23 very inviting. It's forced to Yeah,

Jake 25:26 right. But the ukulele like you said, it's very inviting. And I think that's why there's a very significant movement right now of senior citizens in senior homes, learning this instrument, people who have never played music before in their lives, they're picking up the ukulele. And they're playing together and having so much fun. And they get together and it's kind of replaced Bingo Night. Yeah,

Chuck 25:50 that's fantastic.

Ronnie 25:51 you seen that in different areas of the country?

Jake 25:54 Where are the memories on that now? And yeah, every time that I play in, there's ukulele clubs that come. And most of the time, it's it's senior clubs. So it's extraordinary. You know, I've seen this instrumentalists change people's lives, you know,

Chuck 26:09 I got my I'm a guitarist, I bought my daughter guitar a couple years ago. And she never picks it up. And she wanted a ukulele for Christmas. And I bought one. And she studied it. And she really got into it much more than the guitar. So there is definitely something I love the fact that you say that you don't you embrace the fact that whether people think it's a toy, or the thing, they they take it as a serious instrument, you don't care, because it's about embracing the ability to play an instrument and to pick it up and not be afraid of it. I like I love that a lot. Because we talk about that a lot. with not only just kids, but even adults, don't be afraid to start learning them no matter how old you are,

Ronnie 26:48 What I love about the elderly or people in their 70s on up, or certainly the people in you know that maybe you have an element of dementia, let's say is that there's hundreds and hundreds of songs out there that you can eventually learning very simple ones that will bring them back to their childhood. And we see this in Alzheimer's all the time of singing. And so I could imagine that there's singing that goes along with some of these old standards that will really resonate with with older people.

Jake 27:15 I don't know what it is about it, but you hear a song and it can just instantly take you back to a time in your life, you know, or you're going through something good or bad or

Ronnie 27:26 and how does the melody connect with you and come out? How do you take in that melody and bring it out of the Uke. What I mean by that is that you don't sing right? When I take the songs that I've heard, whether it's your own creations or the covers, you can almost hear I don't know the words, your own creations if they don't have words, but the covers that we hear my, you know, Guitar Gently Weeps as that, that example that connects in my brain to those words, and there's something very unique about when you do Bohemian Rhapsody, and you just hear those words that come out of your melody,

Jake 27:59 That's part of the reason doing cover songs are so much fun, you know, especially for the audience, because it becomes a collaboration. I mean, and that was my whole approach to the Bohemian Rhapsody arrangement is because there's so much going on in that song, right, you got so many different instruments, so many different parts, I can't remember how many vocal parts there are in that song. So you're not going to cover on four strings, you know, no matter what you do, you're not going to be able to, to really cover everything on four strings. But what I realized is that I don't have to because anybody that knows the song are going to fill in the gaps, all I have to do is just start the guiding tone, and they'll pick up on that and then the listeners brain will fill in the rest and I can go on to something else. Even though I'm going from the piano part to the vocal line to the maybe low drum riff or the baseline or the electric guitar solo. I'm playing it all on the same instrument. You know, I'm changing the tambor a little bit, but it's the human brain that's deciphering. Okay, this is just a piano. Okay, there's Freddie Mercury's vocal. Okay, there's Brian May's guitar line, you know, so. So it's a collaboration, it becomes like chamber music, the audience's participate participating.

Ronnie 29:19 And that doesn't even bring in the fact that I listened to that song. And I think about when I was a kid, or the movie that we just saw, you know, with Bohemian Rhapsody. So I think of it as almost like a book, where like, you read a story, and you have a vision of like, what's going on in your mind, like you're painting the movie. But when I hear a song like that, I hear the uniqueness of the ukulele and your style, but I also think of like it takes me to like you said filling in the gaps of those those other pieces.

Chuck 29:48 The funny thing about that piece is that first of all, it's it's several different types of music in there. You got the classical got a little operatic in there, he got some rock, but it's so pervasive right now, in our society, that song, my daughter's dance to it and their dance recital. It's in the movie, you see, no matter how old you are, everybody knows that song. So when you're playing it, no matter how old they are, they're filling in those blanks, whoever however, well, they know that song. That's that's that sounds very unique for people. If you play My Guitar Gently Weeps. I'm going to know it. six year old may not know it. But Bohemian Rhapsody is so pervasive now that people know it. And so you get a whole slew of different types of people of different ages filling in those blanks, which is awesome. Yeah.

Ronnie 30:32 What are you working on? Can we give a preview?

Jake 30:35 Sure. Okay.

Chuck 30:37 Can you play any Pink Floyd?

Jake 30:38 Like for example?

Yeah, we just recorded that for a brand new album. Yeah.

Ronnie 31:07 Oh, you're doing the melody there.

Jake 31:28 So like, if I were to like if I were to just try to write something from scratch, right. A lot of times I would. Like if I if I

Ronnie 31:38 Yeah write Chuck a song..

Jake 31:39 write something for like song- Chuck song right now. So like, what do you want like a minor or major go

Chuck 31:46 Lets go Minor.

Jake 31:47 Minor tonality, you know? So so maybe I'll pick, I might just pick like, like a voicing that like a chord voicing that may just help to get me started. So let's see. So let's go Chuck. See, so let's go C minor right. See for Chuck. Alright. So maybe I'll do something like this is kind of cool. I think. Like find like a nice C minor voicing. Okay, yeah, this is? Well, let's see. Let's start there. Let's see where something like that takes me.So maybe I'll do something like - like a good intro, and then we'll get into the tune. So maybe like,

Ronnie 33:28 I can't think of anything but Chuck right now.

Jake 33:35 So I would start something like that. And then I would just kind of go somewhere else. So maybe

Ronnie 33:41 that's our new our new theme song. By the way.

Chuck 33:45 Do I get residuals for this?

Ronnie 33:48 You get nothing.

Chuck 33:49 I get nothing. It stands out to me. That was fantastic.

Jake 33:52 But that's that's just kind of an example. Yeah. And then and then sometimes it that was more like I kind of started with a chord, but then it may just be a single line melody next time, like maybe I might just have a single line melody in my head. Or maybe it might be like a, like a rhythmic thing. Yeah, I might start like kind of with a rhythmic thing. And the arc is kind of going, then I'll start putting in some chords after that.

Ronnie 34:13 And how do you incorporate that into the vibe of the set your tour? I know, it's probably a longer conversation. But as far as putting in some of the classic, you know, known songs out there with your own, how do you like to mix that up?

Jake 34:28 I like to make it interesting. So I always like to have something in there that I think will appeal to a lot of different people. So in my concert I might have I may have something that sounds very Hawaiian. So I may play a traditional Hawaiian song, you know, and I usually always do I always have at least one song in there. Sometimes I'll do like Israel's over the rainbow his version over the rainbow. Something like that, I think really appeals to people who play, but then I may have something in there more obscure, like, like a Japanese folk to like,into a jazz standard. Something like, you know, you can just go into different styles and, and I think that before and it keeps people on their toes. And then like when I look out in the audience, and the people come to our shows, I see grandparents, I see kids, I see high school students, college kids, I see you No, middle aged adults, you know, so I mean, it's I want to try to appeal to as many different age groups and

Ronnie 37:07 What is what is next in general for you. You're you're on tour. But is there any kind of project you're working on or

Jake 37:15 So yeah, currently, I've been touring with as a trio, you know, with the, with a guitarist from Denver and a basis from Nashville. So we just released a trio record. Well, I mean, we didn't release it yet. But we're getting ready to release it at the end of the year. So yeah, so that'll have a lot of a lot more original compositions on it. And the album is called trio trio. Excellent. Working on a duets project right now working with some of my favorite singers and recording with them. So that should come out next year sometime and yeah, we'll just be touring. You know,

Ronnie 37:48 Can we spoil? Can we do some spoiler?

Jake 37:51 Yeah, sure. We. Well, let's see. We finished eight tracks. We got Bette Midler singing the love bet. She sings the rose. Willie Nelson sings stardust. Michael McDonald - Yeah, he played go now. And old, Moody Blues to john Anderson singing a day in the life

Ronnie 38:20 is there an arrangement of a full band as well.

Jake 38:22 Some of it is just ukulele and vocal. And then yeah, and, like loud, love it. And I did attract. So he played guitar. Yeah. So it's been a lot of fun. Ray Benson from asleep at the wheel has been helping me to produce said

Chuck 38:37 I'm assuming I must have missed my invitation in the email.

Ronnie 38:42 I will say that you know what you could put on the new album. It's a new song called Chuck Minor. Oh,

Chuck 38:48 yeah, that's right. You wrote it here. I'll send you I'll send you the recording of this so you can remember. Let's let this poor man go go to work. Thank you very much. Really appreciate it.

Jake 38:59 No, no, is a real pleasure. Thank you so much. And hope you guys enjoyed the show today.

Chuck 42:15 We would like to thank Jake for his time conversation and of course for my wonderful song Chuck minor. You can see where he is playing next and purchases music at Jake shimabukuro.com. We would also like to thank WCRB classical radio Boston and the Handel and Hayden Society for the clip from the well kid at the taping of their Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music at Symphony Hall this past spring. Please go to abovethebasement.com you can join us on Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter. Listen and subscribe to our podcast like our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter and look at all the nice pictures we post on Instagram. We are everywhere. On behalf of Ronnie and myself. Thanks for listening. Tell your friends and remember Boston music like its history is unique.