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Audience Award: Best Documentary
Juried & Audience Awards
Mon 9:00 PM Varsity 1 RUSH
Playing with ...
56 minutes
Director(s): Tadashi Nakamura
Sun 12:00 PM Armory
Mon 9:00 PM Varsity 1 RUSH
What’s it like to be a virtuoso ukulele musician? Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings is the compelling portrait of an inspiring and inventive musician whose skills on the ukulele have transformed all previous notions of the instrument. A fourth-generation Japanese American, Jake was born and raised in Honolulu. His mother played the ukulele and began teaching him at four — as soon as his fingers were big enough to form the chords. Jake and the ukulele have been inseparable ever since.

Through intimate conversations with Jake and archival footage of his performances, we follow his evolution as an artist. When Jake performed a soulful rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in NYC’s Central Park, he became a YouTube phenomenon and was catapulted to fame. The film captures his life on the road from Hawaii to Los Angeles, New York, and Japan — the exhilarating peformances, the wonders of newfound fame, and the loneliness of being away from home and family.
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