February 3rd, 2012
04:20 PM ET

Rock on a ukulele?

It’s Super Bowl time and that of course means one thing…amazing ads! It's part of the reason we all sit glued to the television even if the game isn't that exciting. And at an estimated $3.5 million for thirty seconds of 2012 Super Bowl airtime it’s really no wonder why ad agencies and production companies up their game while making commercials for the big game. We say bring it! Bring your ads!! And that sentiment reminded us of recent Next Lister Jake Shimabukuro, virtuoso ukulele player whose newest hit single is entitled "Bring Your Adz." In this case “adz” doesn’t refer to advertisements but a Hawaiian tool used for cutting. Here’s how Jake explains it:

"An adz is a small ancient Hawaiian tool used that resembles a small axe.  In rock & roll, players usually refer to their guitars as their axe. ‘I remember hearing people say, “bring your axe to the gig. ” I guess “bring your adz” is the ukulele version of the expression."

Whether it is an expression or not, we know it rocks. And seriously who else could do it? Let’s hope the same can be said for the Super Bowl…and the ads.

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Filed under: Music • The Next List
soundoff (79 Responses)
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    February 25, 2012 at 3:01 am | Reply
  7. Bayomy

    01228912345 on January 31, 2011 @semoo201 hi semoo, im a dish tech agent, how are you? that is right, just make sure that the mode on the fron on the rveeicer is in dual mode

    February 22, 2012 at 2:42 am | Reply
  8. Marco

    vnajikecina on September 4, 2011 I loved reading her story of how her business developed. Her products look absolutely amazing and I love that they are eco-friendly and hand-sewn.

    February 19, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  9. Sam Quest

    INCREDIBLE! While some of you hate, this guy ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  10. Matt

    He definitely has skill, but his choice of music is not something I particularly enjoy.

    February 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  11. Vumba

    Now if he could only play the Star Spangled Banner with his teeth on this instrument he would be...

    February 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  12. DearestPuppy

    I would much prefer to listen to some cajun fiddler

    February 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • Ledia

      dipaserbring on October 20, 2011 The Twilight Game would be awesome! You could play as sall the different vampires (Edward as the main character) and while you venture through the game, you find out about the secrets of the vampires, and battle some werewolves, Carnivores, Etc.The battling could be RPG Based, like final fantasy.or proper real-time combat like the Matrix.and you could have various missions on it for example: Kill 50 Werewolves in 3 Minutes.The game too could be combined with the movie clips.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  13. THIS SUCKS

    ALOT!

    February 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  14. jo an

    Amazing Jake...if people don't appreciate you..you are above their 'comprehension level'...play on...

    February 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • Ganesh

      TourDeSomewhere on November 3, 2008 Kia is rellay coming up cheap, powerful and good. This has got to be the one of the best SUVs out of Korea what else is better from Korea?

      February 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Reply
  15. jonhu

    No distortion pedal?? Now that might rock:)

    February 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  16. aleppo1091

    Hasn't Little Stevie been backing up the Boss on a uke in the E Street Band for decades now?

    February 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  17. Ron D-

    Funny how people now think that when a musician "rocks" he is playing "rock 'n roll". To "rock" means simply to play enthusiastically and well.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  18. Whip

    Jake is amazing. Another amazing uke player is Taimane Gardner.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Irem

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      February 22, 2012 at 12:47 am | Reply
  19. Mighty7

    Ukelele is for children and chubby HAwaiians.

    The Timple is for real men.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • TexAnnie

      And you have no class to make such a derogatory comment. PLEASE, NEVER visit Hawaii.

      February 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  20. Dave

    Check his video on YouTube...playing "My Guitar Gently Weeps". It's mind blowing.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • TexAnnie

      Absolutely. Jake is a VERY talented musician– and a NICE person.

      February 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  21. bonju

    it was too long but it was interesting for the most part. NOT rock and roll but he's good on the UKE and would probably wail on an electric guitar.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • David

      Let's face the facts. The ukelele is on the same level as the mandolin and push button accordion. They are lovely instruments, but really can never have a place in "rock music" as a primary instrument. Even in their native music trhey are not solo instruments, but great as a back-up. This guy has done the best job I have ever heard at his craft... but rock? Not at all.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  22. Vox

    Is the post about a guy playing a uke or super bowl ads?

    February 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  23. wcb2009

    Very Entertaining. Definitely not Rock n roll

    February 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  24. Tom

    Someone call the garbage pickup...this one needs to be dumped!!!!

    February 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  25. J R Brown

    *hits "Unlike" button"

    February 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • Rendi

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      July 21, 2012 at 12:53 am | Reply
  26. doubleR

    Uh rock....no. Maybe if he ran the uke through a distortion pedal.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  27. Robert

    Silly. You can rock on any instrument, depends on how you play it. Just like any genre song can be good, depends on the actual song. Give man a tool- how it is used, is what really matters.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  28. mofo74

    Eddie Vedder released an entire album on a ukulele!

    February 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  29. bordentowntony

    Sounds very nice, but I wouldn't call it "rock", not like Hot Tuna or Grace Potter.

    More like jazz or maybe even prog rock/classical. Kind of reminds me of the same vein as Stanley Jordan or Johnny A, but with his own sound. John was right, it defenitely has mandolin sound, I'm interested in hearing more.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  30. Arnold

    It's one thing to have chops and to learn a few chords and scales, but it's another to have musicality, expression, and soul. I've seen Jake live, and I have to say he is one of the most genuine musicians I have ever heard. It's not just about the flashy runs or strumming - its about the musical ideas and feelings that he shares with his audience. That's what separates Jake from the merely mediocre.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  31. Mark Mohr

    I saw him live in Spokane, Washington. He's an incredible virtuoso. His slow and ethereal songs seem to shimmer, his up tempo music is mindboggling. Bravo, Jake!

    February 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
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      February 22, 2012 at 1:29 am | Reply
  32. John

    Rock? How'ed you come up with that? Sounds more like bluegrass or modern mandolin to me ... someone mentioned Sam Bush, good comparison of sound imo. There are a LOT of fantastic, amazing mandolin players out there that get no notice or front page action. Guess you have to be VERY different? This is not VERY different imo. Good? Yes. Unique? Yes.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  33. PG33

    Go to youtube and watch Jake perform the national anthem. Best ev-uh. He rocks with a ukulele

    February 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • Mojonavich

      Go to Youtube and watch Jimmy Hendrix play The Star Spangled Banner. His take. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RLVk5Jnw20&feature=related

      The greatest version ever.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
      • PG33

        I too have a great respect for Jimi Hendrix and his national anthem is amazing. Jimi started out on a ukulele his dad found. Anyone can make music, the difference with Jake and Jimi is that they can make music beyond just a musician.

        February 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  34. Mojonavich

    Nothing he is doing an intermediate guitar player couldn't do. If you can play chords, you can play guitar, uke, banjo, just about anything with strings. Learn the Pentatonic scale in two weeks and wait in line at Carnegie Hall. Looks like the talent bar thanks to the Idol Show and Xfactor has been lowered substantially.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • dfeurnek

      Couldn't agree more. Really wasn't that impressive.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  35. charlie boy

    Da Ukulele boyz, Peter deAquino & Garrett Probst play as well or better, your guess. Check them out on youtube or buy a CD of Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key guitars where they play with the masters; George Kahomuku puts on a show every week on Maui, Napili Kai Beach Resort. Not to be missed.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  36. ivoant

    Has anybody seen Taimane?

    February 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  37. RJ

    4 CNN reports on Jake in 4 weeks. Is someone at CNN dating this guy? Give it a rest already. He's talented, but it's not mind-blowing, and even his best classical takes are just that. And rock? This guy does not rock. He plays covers of rock. If you wanna label it, I would describe his sound as New Age, and that's not a compliment.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  38. chrisk

    An adz is a NEOLITHIC tool, not a Hawaiian tool which is used for smoothing or carving wood.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • grumpygus

      The adze was also used by Hawaiians and other Polynesians. It was relevant to mention it that way because Jake is from Hawai'i. As a general rule of thumb in life, it's worthwhile to do a bit of research before criticizing someone publicly.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • George Dixon

      Oldest post stone age adz depicted in Egyptian tomb paintings predate the human discovery of Hawaii (300-88CE) by over 1,000 years

      February 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
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  39. RCBinTN

    The Sam Bush of ukulele players. The luau will never be the same again.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  40. erich2112x

    Sounds like he's been taking lessons for like a month or so.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  41. Joe

    I wanna go out and buy a ukelele RIGHT NOW!

    February 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  42. Rock On

    I heard this guy on Fresh Air on NPR. He did a ukulele cover version of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' It was amazing. That is one difficult song to attempt to cover in any form, and the fact that he could pull it off on a ukulele was quite impressive.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
    • RCBinTN

      Thank you – will check it out.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  43. t3chsupport

    I would so have his babies.

    I don't know what he's playing in the video, but if you haven't seen it, look up his video where he does "While my guitar gently weeps".

    And then, you too, will be clamoring for his babies.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  44. Kenny

    It's very good....for a ukulele.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  45. mysterymoves

    If Eddie Van Halen played that crap on stage I promise you people would leave. There is nothing amazing about this....

    February 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • J R Brown

      *nods*

      February 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
      • Reynaldo

        She11y on August 9, 2011 @CherylKimberleylover Yeah I was just tnikhing about that the other day! That would've been the most ridicilous luxury SUV ever!

        February 21, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  46. Visit_AesopsRetreat

    H-o-l-y- c-r-a-p- – - T-h-a-t- w-a-s- t-o-t-a-l-J-u-n-k-!

    February 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  47. Rick

    Jake, no ka oi, like Maui !!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  48. Visit_AesopsRetreat

    H o l y c r a p – T h a t w a s t o t a l J u n k !

    February 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  49. Andy

    Not that impressive.. Thought he would do some good solos.. Lame

    February 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • JimiH

      This guy rocks It's not a strat you armchair critic wanta-be morons!

      February 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
      • Ray in Vegas

        Wannabe morons? They obviously are morons.

        February 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  50. Jim

    Was hoping for some single-note shredding, but that was pretty good.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  51. AbbieR

    Get this guy for the GrassRoots Festivals of Music and Dance – he is great!

    February 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • Drbirol

      08sarahrangel on September 4, 2011 I love that you are mankig products as a mother yourself. Because I think people who are in it without the passion will not make the best of the best for you your baby.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  52. WOWza

    Fantastic!

    February 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
    • Beverly

      Thanks for posting these uptdaes—I really wish my schedule had allowed me to attend this year. This presentation is of particular interest, since as you know I do work on how TV news creates its online presence. Did she mention CNN's TV Everywhere strategy at all? That, to me, is one of in what's coming next for these folks. I'll be on the lookout for the video of this presentation.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:05 am | Reply
  53. Fish

    Let's see Eddie Van Halen do that.... Amazing!

    February 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • Ray in Vegas

      I'm sure Eddie Van Halen has, by now, mastered any stringed instrument that exists. Most guitar gods do.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
      • @Ray in Vegas

        Bass, viola, violin, cello, harp, mandolin? Any stringed instrument, you really think so?

        Van Halen is good but take a moment and listen to Paco DeLucia, John McLaughlin, Al Dimeola, Allan Holdsworth, John Petrucci, Rick Emitt, Albert Lee, Eric Johnson, Ronnie Montrose, Peter Frampton, and legends like Juan Mercadal, and Andres Segovia to name a few.

        Don't get too excited folks. The uke snippet was ok, simple patterns, nothing great.

        February 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm |

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