Abe Lagrimas Jr.

Recommended Listening:
Solo Ukulele: The King of Pop Buy
Ukulele Vibes Buy
Dimensions Buy
Rhythm & Uke Buy
Sample Track:  Blue-kulele.mp3
(from "Rhythm & Uke")

Abe Lagrimas, Jr. is a versatile multi-instrumentalist who begun his musical journey when he first sat behind the drums at the age of four. As he learned more about drums and music, Abe gained an interest in other instruments as his career progressed. Predominantly known as a drummer, Abe is highly proficient on the vibraphone and the `ukulele and continues to perform throughout the world on all three instruments and in many different musical situations.

As a high school student, Abe participated in prestigious music programs such as the Drummers Collective in New York City, the Berklee College of Music 5-week Summer Program in Boston, MA, and the Betty Carter's Jazz Residency in Washington D.C. where he was under the instruction of Dr. Billy Taylor, John Patitucci, George Cables, Terence Blanchard, Carmen Lundy, and Winard Harper. The jazz residency concluded with a performance at the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts. After high school, Abe continued his studies and attended Berklee College of Music as a North American World Tour Scholarship recipient.

Abe had a 8-year run as a member of one of South Korea’s top jazz group, Prelude, which formed in 2003 and later signed with Sony records in 2005. That same year, Prelude released their debut album entitled Croissant and became one of the top ten selling albums in Korea. Since then, Prelude has released five more albums entitled Breezing Up, 3rd, Both Sides of Prelude, 5th Movement, and Day Off. They continue to perform throughout Korea and were showcased at the 2007 Jarasum International Jazz Festival and the 2009 Asian American Jazz Festival in Los Angeles, CA. Prelude’s music can be heard in Korean films and TV commercials throughout the country.

He has performed with notable artists such as Eric Marienthal, Eric Reed, Azar Lawrence, Bill Mays, Jon Irabagon, Michael Paulo, Lalo Schifrin, Gabe Baltazar, James Morrison, Benny Rietveld, Jake Shimabukuro, James Ingram, Michael Ruff, Valery Ponomarev, Barbara Morrison, Michelle Coltrane, pianist Brad Ellis from the hit TV show Glee and many others. Besides Prelude, Abe is a regular member of groups Waitiki 7, Don Tiki, Bop Tribal, The North, and serves as the musical director for Los Angeles-based vocalist Charmaine Clamor. In addition to touring throughout the United States and Korea, Abe has performed in Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, Canada, Finland, Germany and the Czech Republic. He served as the drummer for the Broadway hit musical RENT in Hollywood’s Hudson Theater, which ran for two months in 2011. In September 2012, Abe was one of twelve semi-finalists to compete in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drums Competition. The competition is the world’s most prestigious competition of its kind and has a reputation of breeding the next generation of top jazz artists.

Abe is also an active educator, giving private lessons and conducting workshops and clinics. He serves as a Board of Director for JazzPhil-USA, a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster growth and advancement in the Filipino and jazz community through music and education. JazzPhil-USA has held clinics in Los Angeles, New Jersey, and the Philippines. In March 2011, he led his first educational tour with his quartet to work with music students throughout Hawaii’s schools. The tour ended with a performance of the quartet that was organized by the University of Hawaii Music at Manoa program. Currently, Abe serves on the panel as an instructor for “Ukule-Along”, a community outreach ukulele workshop series hosted by the Los Angeles Music Center Active Arts programs. Abe is also an author and just completed writing an ukulele instructional book and curriculum titled “Ukulele Ensemble, Beginning Ukulele - Level 1” published by Consonus Music Institute.

The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) has repeatedly nominated Abe in the annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for his albums Dimensions, A Pass Out Records Christmas, and Ukulele Vibes. His album Solo Ukulele – The King of Pop, pay tribute to Michael Jackson showcasing unique solo ukulele arrangements of Jackson’s music. It was recognized by HARA in the 2011 awards as the EP Release of the Year, making it Abe's first Hoku win. Abe released his first major record label debut entitled Lovers Uke on Universal Music Japan in August 2007. In June 2009 his second ukulele album in Japan, Uke Wired was released on Pony Canyon Records. He is an endorser for Canopus Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Beato Bags, Koolau Ukuleles, Kaminari Cables, and Fusion Gig Bags. Abe currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his wife.