Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, described by Rolling Stone as a music “hero,” makes his Auditorium Theatre debut with The City Lights Orchestra, conducted by Rich Daniels, Wednesday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m., concluding the Auditorium’s inaugural “Made in Chicago” performance series. Likened by rock and jazz critics to such legends as Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix, Shimabukuro brings his talents to the Auditorium’s landmark stage to cap the Auditorium’s historic 125th Anniversary Season. Tickets ($29 – $65) are available at, by calling (800) 982-ARTS (2787) or in-person at the Auditorium’s Box Office (50 E. Congress Pkwy).

“While the ukulele is an unlikely instrument to be featured in a concert of this scale, this is not true when it is in the hands of Jake Shimabukuro.” said Auditorium Theatre Executive Director Brett Batterson. “He combines the skill of a classically trained musician with the raw attitude and passion of a rock star, earning a reputation as ‘the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele.’ Indeed, Jake Shimabukuro is every bit as captivating as the late guitar legend. Together with The City Lights Orchestra, Jake’s Auditorium debut is sure to be one of the best artistic collaborations of the summer.”

Shimabukuro is accompanied by Chicago’s heralded The City Lights Orchestra, which has performed all over the world with artists including Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks,Ray Charles and Tony Bennett. Shimabukuro’s recent 2012 album, “Grand Ukulele”, features a mix of his original compositions as well as interpretations of “Over the Rainbow” and “Fields of Gold,” by Sting, accompanied by orchestral arrangements. The music phenom has appeared on national TV with appearances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show,” among others.

Jake Shimabukuro began his music career in the mid-90s, performing at local coffee shops as a sideman with his first band, Pure Heart. Shimabukuro’s solo career took off in 2002 when he signed with Epic Records, becoming the first ukulele player to sign with Sony Music. While his well-received solo releases positioned Shimabukuro as an established musician in Hawaii and Japan, his career skyrocketed when a cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on YouTube with more than 13 million views, opening the rest of the world’s eyes to Shimabukuro and his unique playing style.

In the years since the YouTube clip aired, Shimabukuro has collaborated with an array of artists that include 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 Lyle Lovett – as well as orchestras around the world. He’s sold out world-class venues, played at Bonnaroo, SXSW, the Playboy Jazz Festival, Fuji Rock Festival, the influential TED conference, and even performed for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England.

Shimabukuro has topped Billboard’s World Music Chart numerous times, been declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine, which also stated: “one of the hottest axemen of the past few years doesn’t actually play guitar.” He has also won accolades from the disparate likes of Eddie Vedder who states: “Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can’t see anybody else catching up with.” Shimabukuro has been the subject of an award winning documentary “Jake Shimabukuro: Life On Four Strings,” currently on Netflix, and re-aired on Chicago’s WTTW Channel 11 on Monday, June 8.

Rich Daniels and The City Lights Orchestra have been entertaining audiences in Chicago and across the nation with their renditions of everything from the Beatles, to The Big Brave Band Era to Sinatra, to Motown, since 1974. The orchestra has also appeared with top notch national musicians like Ray Charles, Mel Torme, Paul McCartney and many others, since its inception. While making their home in Chicago, the orchestra regularly performs for fantastic events across the country.


Jake Shimabukuro with The City Lights Orchestra

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 | 7:30 p.m.

Tickets ($29 – $65) are available online at, by calling (800) 982-ARTS (2787) or in-person at Auditorium Theatre’s Box Office (50 E. Congress Pkwy). Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available at (312) 341-2357 or

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