More On Jake Shimabukuro
Jake Shimabukuro to perform with Bette Midler in London
By Dave Dondoneau

Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro is heading to England with fellow Hawai”˜i native Bette Midler to perform for Queen Elizabeth II on Dec. 7.

Shimabukuro will join Midler, a Radford High School graduate, for his rendition of the The Beatles’ tune “In My Life.” Their performance is part of The Royal Variety Performance 2009 in Blackpool, England.

Among the other acts lined up to appear are Lady Gaga, Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg, Canadian singer and Grammy Award winner Michael Buble and teen superstar Miley Cyrus.
The performance is presented annually in aid of the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund (the EABF), whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen.

“I’m already nervous and it’s still more than a week away,” Shimabukuro said. “I was shocked to hear that Bette Midler knew my music. I’ve been a huge fan of hers for many years.

“She’s like a queen of entertainment. And to be performing with her for the Queen of England”¦ it’s a bit too much for me. I’m just so honored.”

Shimabukuro said Midler asked him to join her after Jimmy Buffett – whom Shimabukuro often tours with – suggested they work together on a project.

“We were playing in Las Vegas and Jimmy and Bette went out for lunch and he mentioned I was touring with him,””ˆShimabukuro said. “She said she loved my music. I couldn’t believe she was a fan.

“What an honor. I’ve been a huge fan of her’s for so long. My mom’s favorite karaoke song is ”˜The Rose.’ When I met Bette I told her that and she laughed.”

Shimabukuro said Midler invited him to perform with her.”ˆThey had their first rehearsal and meeting about a week ago in Los Angeles. When he walked in to the room, he said she greeted him by speaking pidgin.

“She was like ”˜what’s up brah!’” Shimabukuro said, laughing. “She definitely loves Hawai”˜i.”
The performance will be Shimabukuro’s first in England, but his second time to Europe after touring earlier this year in Sweden, Finland, France and Spain.

Blackpool’s legendary Opera House is the largest theatre in the United Kingdon outside of London with a seating capacity of 3,000. The performances will be screened on ITV1, in the UK later in December.

Following the performance Shimabukuro returns to O”˜ahu to perform Dec. 9 at the Toys For Tots Concert at Blaisdell Concert Hall.

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