Jake Shimabukuro
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  • Jake Shimabukuro

The 36th annual Spoleto Festival USA’s eclectic Wells Fargo Jazz Series recently announced its full schedule, and the roster looks quite strong this year. Scheduled for May and June, the program features a variety of jazz, gospel, and world music at the Cistern, the Gaillard Auditorium, and the Recital Hall at the Simons Center for the Arts.

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.

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