Ukulele star pays tribute to 442nd
By Wayne Harada
Special to The Advertiser
'Ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro has written and recorded "Go for Broke," a poignant instrumental paying tribute to the heroism of the highly decorated World War II-era 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment.
The tune will be part of his unnamed CD, due in August, but military officials have been looking for a possible fit in this weekend's Memorial Day events.
"I was inspired to write it for the vets because of a funny story: I lived on Lauiki Street near Ala Wai School, where I attended, and my buddies and I used to ride bikes around the block and we used to sneak into Club 100 to drink ice water and then sneak out," said Shimabukuro. "Only years later, I learned of its significance; the 442nd story is so awesome."
Club 100 on Kamoku Street is a gathering place and education center dedicated to the Japanese-American veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion.
The song features a military-cadence snare drum counterpoint to Shimabukuro's restrained, but poignant uke-strumming sure to resonate with veterans.
If a Memorial Day link fails, Shimabukuro will do a live performance with bandmates Noel Okimoto (drums), Dean Taba (bass) and Michael Grande (keyboards) on June 5 when he appears at a 442nd event at 'Iolani Palace.