Abe Lagrimas Jr. – The greatest Jazz Ukulele player – ever!

Arguably, of course, and feel free to do so, but when you listen to this rendition of Autumn Leaves you definitely know he is among the best.  Abe’s tasteful yet exciting melodies move through bright and thoughtful lines into a flury of emotion and expression. The pure musical gift this young man has along with the fat tones of his tenor Ko’olau make this live performance a wonderful reminder of the infinite capabilities and applications of this small instrument. Abe maintains a warmth and fullness in the high register where guitar often gets thinner sounding. The tone Abe gets here is an ideal Jazz solo tone. Guitar players should recognize the advantages to the voicing of an ukulele!

Abe has roots mainly in drums in which he still considers his main instrument, and he is good! He can battle with the best of them behind a trapset, so good in fact that he makes a living playing drums in LA. To do on call session work in LA in your 20’s is a feat many great musicians will never conquer. Along with drums and ukulele he plays the vibraphone, piano and probably anything he spends a little time with. Which gives him a well rounded tastefulness on any of them. Although I wonder if he spent all his time playing uke, how good would he be? Scary thought. Enjoy this footage from our Higher Ground.

Alden Tokuzato on guitar and Adrianno Larioza on percussion

Comments 4

  1. This is so excellent. I bought Abe’s “Dimensions” album long ago and listen to it regularly. How good could he be if he concentrated on the uke? Dunno. But maybe all that different musical skill is just the right mix for his uking. Thanks very much for this performance.

  2. He’s just a good a teacher as he is a musician. I’m proud to be taking lessons from such a great talent.

  3. Brilliant. I love Django and this talented young man performs the Gypsy Anthem like he was born in a caravan.

  4. “If it ain’t got that swing…” . I once heard someone say that the ukulele is a percussion instrument, as is the piano. I dunno. But it would explain his mastery and driving style. And his ‘Elua album is killer. There is a video of Abe, Benny Chong and Corey Fugimoto jamming at NAMM. The sound is crap but OH what a show. Hope to hear him tickleing the strings for years to come.

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