You wouldn't exactly call this rising young ukulele star traditional; the guy's known for busting out Hendrix-sized riffs in concert. But Hawaii's Jake Shimabukuro is nothing if not talented: behind the showmanship lies a musician of innate ability, as 2006's acoustic Gently Weeps amply demonstrates. Born in 1976 and introduced to the ukulele when he was just four years old, Shimabukuro gained his first recognition as a member of the trio Pure Heart, which he joined in the late '90s. The trio's second album, Pure Heart 2, won them a Hoku award for Island Contemporary Album of the year, and Jake broke out from the act in 2000 to build his solo career. He became known for his liberal use of effects pedals as he endeavored to free the instrument from novelty status. He's done it. An internet video of him performing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" became an instant hit, generating millions of page-views and exposing the young musician to a broad and adoring audience.