Maegan Kasteler | Nov 30, 2018

3 Interesting Facts about Jake Shimabukuro

We’re thrilled to announce Jake Shimabukuro as a keynote speaker at RootsTech 2019. Shimabukuro is a world-renowned ukulele player from Hawaii. He will grace the RootsTech Stage on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Shimabukuro will share stories of his Hawaiian heritage and world-class ukulele skills.


Here are three things to know about the musician.

He didn’t know about the video that made him famous

In 2005, a friend posted a video of Shimabukuro playing his ukulele that quickly became an internet phenomenon. On his website, Shimabukuro says:

“I didn’t even know what YouTube was at the time, so I was totally surprised when people started telling me they’d seen a video of me playing ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps.’ Before I got a chance to check it out myself, the video had gone viral, and a lot of music industry folks seemed to know about it. It was crazy!”

He recently dedicated a music clubhouse at his alma mater

On October 2, 2018, Shimabukuro returned to his elementary school, Ala Wai, and dedicated a music clubhouse that is also named in his honor.

The “Jake Shimabukuro Clubhouse for Music Learning and Appreciation” houses a stage, microphones, a large range of musical instruments, and over 100 ukuleles. The clubhouse is equipped with everything musicians might need to record their own CD.

On the same day of the dedication, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell proclaimed the day as Jake Shimabukuro Day.

Shimabukuro has performed all around the world for (and with) all types of people

Shimabukuro has traveled and toured the globe. On April 29, 2018, Shimabukuro made a special appearance at New Orleans Jazz Fest with Jimmy Buffett. At one point during his 90-minute set, Buffett relinquished the stage while Shimabukuro performed the song that made him famous, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

The list of collaborations goes on, including a performance in 2009 alongside Miley Cyrus, Mika, Michael Bublé, and Lady Gaga. Shimabukuro performed at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England. Together, Shimabukuro and Bette Midler performed The Beatles’ tune, “In My Life.” Both Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh were in attendance that evening.

Don’t miss the exciting opportunity to see Jake Shimabukuro in person at RootsTech 2019. Register today!

Maegan Kasteler

Recent Posts

RootsTech London Day in Review: A Talent for Genealogy

Donny Osmond closes out RootsTech London 2019 with inspiring stories of family history.
Elizabeth Miller | Oct 26, 2019

RootsTech London Day in Review: Sharing Our Stories and Overcoming the Odds

Kadeena Cox and Steve Rockwood share stories of courage, determination, and overcoming adversity at the RootsTech London 2019 General Session.
Elizabeth Miller | Oct 25, 2019