Today we are joined by the young and talented Kris Fuchigami. Kris is a born and raised native of the Big Island where at the age of 13, picked up the ‘ukulele and decided this was his journey. Wining the grand prize at the Hamakua Music Scholarship Competition propelled Kris’ career to now having 5 CD releases and even featured in the latest issue of Ukulele Magazine as one of the, “Next Jakes.”
Here Kris plays the famous Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons song Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. This track, like many of his other videos, features Keiko Fuchigami on piano playing a light accompaniment. He carefully introduces the melody with an expressive touch and mesmerizing finger picking. Light vibrato (0:29) and spaced out phrasing really add a vocal element to this arrangement. He emulates the blaring horns of the original with a snappy wrist to get the right amount of attack that really gets the piece moving (1:15). Taking a small pause before launching into the memorable chorus is all he needs to get people singing along with his ‘ukulele. He softly lays the listener down (2:06), creating an emotional jump before he heads back into the verse again. He takes a solo over the chorus wearing his influences by Jake Shimabukuro, Troy Fernandez, and Kalei Gamiao. I particularly love his funky chords (3:52) as he really digs into the groove to yet again softly lay the listener down into the refrain one final time (4:24).
UkePrints is a curated playlist of some essential ukulele tracks that all ukulele player should listen to. These songs have left a legacy for future players and in essence, sound impressions of the ‘ukulele or what I like to call them: UkePrints.