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Event: Keller Williams/ Jake Shimabukuro
Date: Friday, October 25, 2013
Time: 8 p.m.
Where: Pollak Theatre, Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, NJ
Sponsored By: Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts
Cost: $25/$35/$45 Contact Box Office for information on group rates
Contact: Eileen Chapman at 732-571-3512
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ (August 2, 2013) – The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University announced today that tickets are on sale for an October 25 concert co-headlined by two masterful musicians — one a favorite of New Jersey audiences who bounds across musical genres as nimbly as he switches instruments; the other a relative newcomer to our Shore, who’s put the “sexy” back into one of the most unlikely axes ever to take center stage.
Scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Pollak Theatre, the concert teams Keller Williams and Jake Shimabukuro on a bill that’s as unorthodox as it is perfectly logical, from the standpoint of two passionate players who share many of the same classic influences, and whose reverence for those past music masters is expressed in stylistic flavors that are uniquely their own.
Whether performing as a high-tech one man band, as leader of a dub trio and a funk sextet, in cahoots with bluegrass duo The Keels, or as a collaborator with members of the Grateful Dead and other jam-band juggernauts, Keller Williams has mastered the live concert stage like the string, keyboard and percussion instruments that he carries with him on his busy tour schedule. A regular visitor to the Jersey Shore, the Virginia based artist (a.k.a. “K-Dub”) has proven himself equally at home with rock and reggae as he is with folk, jazz and “progressive bluegrass.” His catalogue of recordings — all of them graced with one-word titles — includes an album of solo Dead covers, a team-up with The String Cheese Incident, and even a set of children’s songs.
Hailing from Hawaii (and appearing in only his second New Jersey theater concert), Jake Shimabukuro has been lauded as the “Hendrix of the Ukelele” — and while his competition for the title is admittedly slim, his breathtaking virtuosity on the uke has taken the four-string axe from the stuff of corny luau singalongs to an expressive thing of subtlety and nuance. In just a handful of years since becoming an almost accidental YouTube sensation, Shimabukuro has performed for Queen Elizabeth II, guested on late night talk shows, and released nine studio and live recordings. Far from a novelty vaudeville act, a set by Jake Shimabukuro is a warm and intimate exploration (and re-imagination) of source material that ranges from Queen, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, to Adele, Judy Garland and even Bach. It’s music that spans scenes and cultures and oceans of time — a remarkably cohesive experience that guarantees the listener will think of the humble ukelele as a “toy” instrument no more.
A recent addition to the 2013-2014 Performing Arts Series at Monmouth, the Friday night double-header will be presented inside one of the Garden State’s premier rooms for acoustic music, and the setting for some memorable “unplugged” sets by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Roger McGuinn, Colin Hay, John Hammond, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, actor-singer Jeff Daniels and many others.
Tickets for the October 25 concert featuring Keller Williams and Jake Shimabukuro are priced at $25; $35 and $45 and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/arts. Tickets for other upcoming events in the 2013-2014 Performing Arts series at Monmouth University — including Dawes (September 25), Ani DiFranco (November 8), and ETHEL with Kaki King (April 4, 2014) are on sale now. To schedule interviews, please contact Eileen Chapman at 732-571-3512.