Local uke virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro brought his talent home to Hawaii on Saturday night, with a show at Hawaii Theatre that sold out in advance. For two hours, the crowd listened in almost absolute silence, only punctuated by applause, as the now 36-year-old made his ukulele produce a dynamic range of sounds, from sweet trills to fiery Latin rhythms and talked story about being a new dad, traveling around the world and how much it meant to him to have the support of his friends and family in Hawaii.
Jake also called a few special performers to the stage, including his brother, Bruce Shimabukuro and award-winning singer Paula Fuga. He ended the show to a standing ovation, performing as his encore his expressive rendition of the song that started it all for him, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
Afterward, the musician went outside to sign autographs for hundreds of his adoring fans. Although the line snaked around Hawaii Theatre and almost to Pauahi Street, Jake, as he always makes a point to do, greeted every person with a warm smile and a thank you.
The night is the first in what is intended to become an annual tradition: A post-Thanksgiving concert, in partnership with a charity, featuring Jake and other talented members of the Hawaii music ohana.