The lineup includes a handful of festival newcomers and several returning artists. Perhaps the most anticipated concert on the schedule is Hawaiian-born ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, a solo performer who rose to international fame over the last few years. Shimabukuro dazzled a large audience with his innovative, non-traditional style and varied set of pop, blues, classical, and original tunes at the Cistern during Spoleto’s jazz series in 2009. Shimabukuro’s recent world-wide tours have supported the release of his latest album, Peace Love Ukulele, released this winter on Hitchhike Records. The collection features a few full-band arrangements, original ballads, and a cover of rock band Queen’s epic anthem “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Shimabukuro fans who’d like a sneak preview might consider a road trip to the Upstate this month. His current tour across North America veers into the Carolinas this month. He performs a solo concert at the Newberry Opera House in Newberry, S.C. on Sun. Jan. 29.
The rest Wells Fargo Jazz Series features a lively mix. Brazilian vocalist Virgínia Rodrigues, gospel singer Mavis Staples, and Spanish pianist David Peña Dorantes are scheduled for concerts at the Gaillard. French-American vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant is set for two performances at the Cistern. Blues/zydeco combo Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole will perform at the Festival Finale at Middleton Place on Sun. June 10.
Additional jazz-related Spoleto events include a series of recitals by French double-bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons at the Simons Center Recital Hall and two concerts by New Orleans’ Rebirth Brass Jazz Band at the Cistern.
Call (843) 579-3100 and visit spoletousa.org for ticket and concert information.