Andover, MAâ€” Continuing its leadership position in the ukulele market, Fishman Acoustic Amplification is featuring Jake Shimabukoro in its new ad campaign.
The instrumentâ€™s most popular artist, Shimabukoro has earned comparisons to the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, and has been heralded for entirely redefining the instrument by his early thirties. Jake has been a Fishman artist since exploding on the scene in 2005.
For Shimabukuro, his life has always centered on the ukulele. He started playing the instrument at the age of 4, at the urging of his mother who also played. â€œEveryone plays in Hawaii,â€? he says. â€œBut I just immediately fell in love with it.â€?
Although a few several well-received solo releases helped the musician earn some fame on the island, his career really skyrocketed during a TV appearance in New York,
where the producers of a local TV show called â€œUkulele Discoâ€? asked him to play a cover of â€œWhile My Guitar Gently Weepsâ€? in Central Park.
It was a remarkable performance and one that quickly went viral, as the six-million-plus page views itâ€™s received on YouTube can attest. The clip certainly opened the worldâ€™s eyes to the ukulele, and broadened Jakeâ€™s audience.
In the years since that clip aired, Shimabukuro has performed with Jimmy Buffett, Bela Fleck, Bette Midler, Yo-Yo Ma, Cyndi Lauper and Ziggy Marley.
His album Peace Love Ukulele debuted at No. 1 on Billboardâ€™s World Music Chart and his many YouTube videos of his inimitable interpretations of classics such as â€œWhile My Guitar Gently Weeps,â€? â€œBohemian Rhapsodyâ€? and â€œThrillerâ€? continue to build interest in the resurgent popularity of the instrument.
Commenting on his choice of pickup systems, Shimabukuro says, â€œI’ve been using Fishman pickups with my Kamaka ukulele for many years. I love the warmth and detail it gives me when I’m playing a soft ballad, but I also love the snappy attack I get when I’m really digging in and strumming hard.”
Summing up the appeal of the ukulele, Shimabukuro is often approached in airports by people who are curious about his instrument. “There’s a friendliness to the ukulele that’s very rare,” he says. “If everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place.”
In related product news, Fishmanâ€™s new Kula Onboard Preamp System is shipping this month and will be available exclusively to OEM builders. With a long history of supplying ukulele systems for high-end builders, Fishman now introduces a system for a wider range of ukulele manufacturers.
Kula is designed specifically for the size, shape and sound of the ukulele. The system offers a unique new industry-leading feature set that includes 3 bands of EQ and a built-in digital chromatic tuner.
For more information about Fishman, call 978.988.9199 or click to www.fishman.com.