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Exclusive Premiere: Ukulele Wizard Jake Shimabukuro — "Missing Three"

Here is the exclusive premiere of "Missing Three," a new track by Jake Shimabukuro, who has been called "the Jimi Hendrix of the Ukulele."

The song is from Shimabukuro's upcoming album, Grand Ukulele, which will be released October 2 through Hitchhike Records.

"This is a song about missing a loved one," says Shimabukuro, who has been declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone. "I was changing my ukulele strings one day but was missing the third string (C). Instead of rushing off to find the missing string, I thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be cool to write a song with just three strings?"

"I shared the story with Alan [Parsons], and he made me take off the C string when we recorded it. This was the first song I had sent to Alan when we started talking about the project. The 29-piece orchestra sounds amazing on this track. When we were tracking this tune, I remember closing my eyes and letting my body move with the orchestra. It was such an unforgettable moment for me."

With his new album, the follow-up to 2011’s Peace, Love, Ukulele, the Hawaiian musician is collaborating with producer/engineer Alan Parsons, best known for his work on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Beatles’ Abbey Road and his own solo project.

“It was very organic how it happened,” says Shimabukuro (she-ma-boo-koo-row). “He attended a couple of my shows near where he lives in Santa Barbara and the concert promoter put us in touch. I was stunned. I mean, THE Alan Parsons? We ended up having dinner before the show and he casually mentioned the idea of possibly working together on a project. It was a priceless opportunity I didn’t want to pass up – he’s a genius.”

Shimabukuro has won accolades from Eddie Vedder (who released his own ukulele album last year), Perez Hilton and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, wowed audiences on TV (Jimmy Kimmel, Conan), earned comparisons to Hendrix and Miles Davis, and even for the Queen of England.

Check out "Missing Three" via the SoundCloud player below. Keep up with Shimabukuro at his official website and Facebook page. Pre-order Grand Ukulele at

Jake Shimabukuro's "Missing Three" by ShoreFireMedia

Photo: Merri Cyr

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.