Education: B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Southern California
Originally from Hawaii, Los Angeles-based Jason Arimoto, also known on YouTube as “facemeltingukulele," is a featured artist on the Na Hoku Hanohano Award winning album, Abe Lagrimas jr. and Friends – Solo Ukulele: The King of Pop 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 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 Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California as well as internationally at the Cairns Ukulele Festival in Australia.
Jason is a lead instructor of ‘Ukulele Creations, a comprehensive music program developed together with six-time GRAMMY award winner, Daniel Ho. Jason was invited to teach at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as part of the Music Center of Los Angeles’s Active Arts Program and was voted as a top rated instructor by participants.
In addition to his work as a solo artist, Jason performs in an ‘ukulele-percussion duo with percussionist Brad Ranola. Jason and Brad have performed at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel and at McCormick and Schmick’s at the Anaheim GardenWalk.
Jason is also one of the original members of the Los Angeles based reggae/blues/rock band, JMD. 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. JMD has performed in venues across Southern California, including the Mai Tai Bar in Long Beach, Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, and the world famous Viper Room in Hollywood. JMD performs weekly at Watermans in Hermosa Beach, California.
Recordings of his music are available on the Take On the ‘80s EP, a collection of ’80s hits re-imagined on ukulele and vocals in the varying styles of blues, reggae, and swing; the JMD EP, featuring ukulele, bass, and drums on 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.