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Jake Shimabukuro to perform at Wingate University

12/20/2011
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Jake Shimabukuro and his ukulele
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Kim Williams Laura Kratt
Communications Writer Director of Cultural Events
704-233-8320 704-233-8302
k.williams@wingate.edu l.kratt@wingate.edu

Wingate, N.C. – It’s rare for a musician to earn comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. It’s even harder to find an artist who has entirely redefined an instrument by his early thirties. But Jake Shimabukuro (she-ma-boo-koo-row) has accomplished these feats, and more, in a little over a decade of playing and recording music on the ukulele. He brings his considerable talents to Wingate University’s Batte Center on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

In the hands of Shimabukuro, the traditional Hawaiian instrument is stretched and molded into a complex and bold new musical force. On his most recent album Peace Love Ukulele (which debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Album Chart), Jake mixes jazz, rock, classical, traditional Hawaiian music and folk creating a sound that’s technically masterful, emotionally powerful and utterly unique in the music world. Eddie Vedder of the band Pearl Jam, who recently released his own album of ukulele songs, had this to say about Jake: “Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can’t see anybody else catching up with him.”

Shimabukuro’s career skyrocketed when a YouTube clip of him performing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in Central Park went viral with over nine million views. In the years since that clip aired, Shimabukuro has performed with Bela Fleck and Flecktones, Bette Midler, Yo-Yo Ma, Cyndi Lauper, Ziggy Marley, Marcus Miller, Les Paul, Dave Koz, Chris Botti and Jimmy Buffett. He’s played on shows like “The Late Show with Conan O’Brien” and “The Today Show.” He was a featured artist on NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” and more recently on Rolling Stone Live. He’s landed slots on the Monterrey and Playboy Jazz Festivals, performed at Google and the influential TED conference, and performed in front of the Queen of England in Blackpool (alongside Bette Midler).

Tickets are $25 and on sale via the Batte Center box office, www.battecenter.org, and the CarolinaTix phone room and website. For a complete schedule of events, ticket prices, as well as membership information call 704-233-8300.

Opened in 1999, the George A. Batte, Jr. Fine Arts Center presents events in the McGee Theatre, Plyler-Griffin Recital Hall and Austin Auditorium. Located just a short, 5 minute drive from Monroe, The Batte is just two blocks off of Highway 74 and 30 miles east of Charlotte. Free parking is plentiful and all three performance spaces offer full wheelchair accessibility.

About Wingate University
Wingate University, ranked as the 8th "best value" in the South by U.S. News & World Report, serves more than 2,500 students on three campuses in Wingate, Matthews and Hendersonville, N.C. Founded in 1896, the University offers 34 undergraduate majors, 37 minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs, graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration, and doctorates in pharmacy and education. With a 14 to 1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students gain the tools and support needed to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life.

In addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student athletes compete in 19 NCAA Division II sports. The University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past five years. For more information, go to www.wingate.edu.