Four-String Phenom

Mastery of a traditional instrument beyond all expectations isn't a new concept; Béla Fleck's been shredding up the banjo for years, and Chris Thile reaches for mandolin stratosphere every chance he gets. But the ukulele? Hawaiian whiz kid Jake Shimabukuro — who's been called "the new Jimi Hendrix" — proves there simply ain't nothin' you can't do with the four-stringed mini-guitar. His unheard-of prowess has made him a favorite sideman for Jimmy Buffett and the aforementioned Fleck, but he'll be performing alone and for free as part of the Parrot Head Block Party kickoff for the Snowmass Village Summer of Free Music Festival, taking place today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with music from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Greencards will also perform amid freely flowing margaritas; future freebies, typically at 6 p.m. on Thursdays at Fanny Hill, begin officially with War on June 28 and continue through August 23. For details, call 1-800-SNOWMASS or go to And if you miss him in Snowmass, Shimabukuro will wow audiences closer to home tomorrow at Trilogy Wine Bar and Lounge, 2017 13th Street in Boulder. Tickets are $10 to $12; call 303-473-9463 or log on to
Sat., June 23, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd