Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings

Filmmaker: Tadashi Nakamura
Runtime: 55 min

Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings is a compelling portrait of an inspiring and inventive musician whose virtuoso skills on the ukulele have transformed all previous notions of the instrument’s potential. Through intimate conversations with Shimabukuro (she-ma-BOO-koo-row), Life on Four Strings reveals the cultural and personal influences that have shaped the man and the musician. On the road from Los Angeles to New York to Japan, the film captures the solitary life on tour: the exhilaration of performance, the wonder of newfound fame, the loneliness of separation from home and family.

About The Filmmaker

Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN’s “Young People Who Rock” for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and listed as one of the “Top Rising Asian American Directors” on IMDb. The fourth-generation Japanese American recently completed Mele Murals, a documentary on the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. Mele Murals was broadcasted on PBS and Al Jazeera and has received 14 awards at film festivals around the world. His film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings was broadcasted nationally on PBS and went on to win the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Audience Award, which was in competition with 12 Years a Slave and Fruitvale Station.

Nakamura’s trilogy of documentary films on the Japanese American experience, Yellow Brotherhood (2003), Pilgrimage (2007) and A Song for Ourselves (2009) have garnered over 20 awards.  Nakamura has an M.A. in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz, a B.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

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