Ruth Eckerd Hall On The Road presents, GRAMMY® Award-winning saxophonist Kenny G and his very special guest ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro at Coachman Park in Clearwater on Friday, April 21 at 8 pm. He has a recording career that spans almost three decades and 23 albums, GRAMMY® Award-winning saxophonist Kenny G has grafted elements of R&B, pop and Latin to a jazz foundation solidifying his reputation as the premiere artist in contemporary jazz. Since the early ‘80s, his combination of unparalleled instrumental chops and indelible melodies has resulted in sales of more than 75 million records worldwide (45 million in the U.S. alone) and more than a dozen climbs to the top of Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart.
Kenny G has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the business during his legendary career, ranging from Michael Bolton to Weezer to Whitney Houston to Katy Perry. This month, Kenny G released his 14th studio album Brazilian Nights via Concord Records. The 10-song set, Kenny’s tribute to the ‘masters’ of Bossa Nova, is a mixture of classics and Kenny G originals.
Ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro can still vividly remember the first time he held a ukulele, at age four. As one of the most exceptional and innovative uke players in the history of the instrument, Jake has drawn comparisons to musical titans such as Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. He was signed to Epic Records (Sony/Japan) in 2001 as a solo artist. It was the start of what would become a deep catalog of solo albums, noted for their dazzling fretwork, ambitious repertoire and wistful melodicism. And in 2005, Shimabukuro became an international phenomenon when a video of him performing the George Harrison song While My Guitar Gently Weeps went viral on YouTube. Jake became noted for his solo uke arrangements of such varied pieces as Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Schubert’s Ave Maria and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
Widespread acclaim brought high-visibility collaborations with a wide range of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Michael McDonald, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Tommy Emmanuel and Marty Friedman. Jake Shimabukuro has topped Billboard’s World Music Chart on numerous occasions and has sold out prestigious venues and festivals such as the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Sydney Opera House, Wolf Trap, Bonnaroo, SXSW and the Playboy Jazz Festival. He even played for Queen Elizabeth II at The Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England. Jake’s most recent CD, Nashville Sessions, is one of his most adventurous, multifaceted and engaging records to date, blending elements of jazz virtuosity with heartfelt melodicism.
Ruth Eckerd Hall members may purchase tickets at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office, by calling 727.791.7400 or visiting www.RuthEckerdHall.com. The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm and one hour prior to show time. The general public may purchase tickets by visiting www.axs.com or by calling 888.929.7849.