Originally from Hawaii, Los Angeles-based Jason Arimoto, also known on YouTube as “facemeltingukulele,” is a featured artist on a Na Hoku Hanohano Award winning album and is a two-time winner of the Ukulele Underground Award for Best Vocal Performance of the Year. He has attracted a following for his blues ukulele covers of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” and John Mayer’s “Gravity,” which was featured as one of Jake Shimabukuro’s top picks on the front page of YouTube in 2011. His original music blends his island roots with reggae and blues, with soulful vocals combining with a bluesy ukulele tone. Jason has performed across the U.S. including the Bean Blossom Blues Festival in Indiana and the world famous Viper Room in Hollywood, California as well as internationally at the Cairns Ukulele Festival in Australia.
In addition to his solo work, Jason is one of the original members of the Los Angeles based reggae/blues/rock band, JMD. Formed in 2008, JMD has attracted a loyal following for their inventive fusion of Bob Marley, Sublime, and Jimi Hendrix using three part harmonies and three instruments: an ukulele, bass and drums.
Recordings of his original music are available on the JMD EP, a collection of six original reggae/blues/rock compositions; Song Still Remains, a compilation album benefiting the Duchene Foundation for muscular dystrophy featuring performances by members of the popular online forum Ukulele Underground; and Solo Ukulele: The King of Pop, an instrumental album featuring Abe Lagrimas, Jr. and friends, winner of the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Extended Play Album of the Year.
"What sounds on first take like an electric guitar is Arimoto playing ukulele through various effects. Guitarists have been experimenting with the sonic possibilities of their electrified instrument for more than 60 years, and Arimoto is picking up where Jake Shimabukuro left off in doing the same with the ukulele. Experimentation is often admirable. That’s true here."
--John Berger, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
- Performed at Kollaboration Los Angeles in 2008