January 31, 2020

BY TOM NETHERLAND | SPECIAL TO THE HERALD COURIER

Who? Days before his debut in Bristol, folks may be inclined to express such in response to mentions of the name Jake Shimabukuro.

But go ahead, attend Shimabukuro’s show Friday at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee. Stride in unsure. Exit convinced. No one plays a ukulele quite to the level of acumen and showmanship as Shimabukuro.

Wait … the ukulele? Think not of Tiny Tim’s “Tip-Toe Thru the Tulips with Me.” Instead, Shimabukuro’s aptly labeled as akin to Jimi Hendrix on the ukulele. Born in Hawaii, he attained international acclaim when a You Tube video of him playing George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral in 2006. Look it up, marvel, and then realize. Tiny Tim made the ukulele known. Shimabukuro makes the ukulele cool.