By: Jude Falcon - MSTv
Its rare when we see someone do the incredible, but we've seen it today in the music of Jake Shimabukuro. And he did it, amazingly enough, with a ukulele; that "mini-me" cousin of the guitar.
It seems unlikely to think that this small instrument, which brings up memories of that musical madman, Tiny Tim and his many "tiptoes through the tulips," might be welded with such a precision to play that Michael Jackson hit, Billie Jean. But it seems Shimabukuro likes to do the improbable. Just view the video below.
“It’s capable of playing a lot different styles of music,” Shimabukuro said. “People thought you could only play simple songs on it but now they are realizing that, ‘Wow, I can play complicated tunes. I can play songs that are hip and cool.’ That draws people in. And it’s very affordable.”
Having played the instrument since he was 4, Shimabukuro, an admittedly horrible singer, focused on playing melodies because most people didn't get his strumming.
So, he practiced, improvised and perfected his own style. “I needed to figure out how to make the arrangements exciting,” he said. “So I incorporated a lot of percussive, rhythmic things.”
And now, the diligence of this 36 year old Hawaii native has paid off. His unique style has made Shimabukuro a Youtube star and he now tours nationwide to amazed and sold out audiences. His reasoning for this? Far too many people underestimate the power of the ukulele.
“When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time experimenting with amplifying the ukulele, to make it growl, to make it roar. Because everyone knows the soft, gentle side of the instrument, but there’s a beast that lives in the instrument as well. It’s been fun discovering that and showing people that side of the instrument.”
And roar it will as Jake takes to Baton Rouge's Shaw Center stage, on March 23 at 8 pm sharp. If you think he can't surprise you as well, then perhaps you need to take a second look at the video above.
Brooke Waggoner is just one artist appearing at GFLF
By: Connor James - MSTv Correspondent
The Food Gas & Lodging Festival turns up in Baton Rouge for March. So, for people who make the annual pilgrimage trip to Austin to catch it, no worries, its in your back yard now kiddies.
Three local staples of fine BR entertainment, The Spanish Moon, Mud and Water and the Varsity Theatre are actually working together to bring us over 50 great acts this month.
The festival lets performers, bands and artists who are local, or traveling through Baton Rouge (en route to SXSW and other venues) to showcase our local talent and drop some extra money into the pockets of those just passing through.
With a huge line-up showcasing the 2 week long festival, the organizers hope that this will not only draw more people to the event, but also draw awareness to the Baton Rouge music atmosphere.
Nappy Roots will be in attendance
And of course, a partnership between venues is the first step in growing the event into a significant force. Organizers hope that in the coming years, more local venues will be added to the list with sights toward making the GFLF a city wide annual festival.
That's something the area could certainly do well with for the future. But for now, here's this years line-up.
Contact individual venues for ticket information.
Never stop discovering what Louisiana has to offer
New Orleans doesn't hold monopoly on making Louisiana a hot travel destination.
So, spark up some fire of your own to enjoy fun that Never Stops, a unique Birthplace
of musical styles and foods to tantalize Every Taste.
Come and experience the uniqueness that is Louisiana.
Call SE Louisiana home?
Despite New Orleans grabbing all the flash and headlines, Baton Rouge has a charm and flair uniquely its own. So if you're looking for those events that make the red stick special, right here is a good place to start.