TV WORTH WATCHING

JAKE SHIMABUKURO: LIFE ON FOUR STRINGS

PBS, 9 p.m. ET (Check local listings); 5/10/2013 


You may have to take this one on faith, because it sounds dubious – but I recommend it highly. Director and editor Tadashi Nakamura has compiled a film about 36-year-old Jake Shimabukuro that is part biography, part concert touring film, and part Pied Piper reincarnated. Except that this particular enchanting musician doesn’t play a wind instrument, but a ukulele – yet unlike any ukulele player you’ve ever heard, or seen. He won me over years ago, when he first posted a YouTube video of him playing a jaw-dropping rendition of George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps. On a four-stringed, limited-range string instrument. This film includes footage of him walking the streets of Tokyo, strumming effortlessly and passing by people who are, by turns, equally amused, impressed and stunned. Watching this one-hour documentary elicits the same reactions.

-David Bianculli