Peters is a ukulele sensation

Jake Peters is about to earn some respect for the humble ukulele.

Jake Peters is about to earn some respect for the humble ukulele.

The Didsbury musician will treat the ukulele is if it was a Spanish-style guitar when he opens for Ian Tyson on Tuesday, May 3, at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre. In other words, his performance will be more along the virtuosic lines of Leona Boyd or Jesse Cook than a certain somebody who once tip-toed through the tulips.

(“Don’t mention Tiny Tim,” said Peters, who doesn’t like the lingering association in some people’s minds of the ukulele as a novelty instrument.)

Peters is an award-winning guitar and banjo player and luthier who takes the ukulele as seriously as the other string instruments he plays and builds. These include the Middle Eastern oud, sas, dombra, and barabat.

The four-string uke is his current favourite because “you can play the melody and the harmony at the same time,” he explained, before plinking out a sprightly few bars over the telephone to demonstrate.

Peters enjoys all genres of music, including bluegrass, blues, Celtic, Spanish, classical, folk and gospel. He suggests jazz and world music, including Hawaiian and flamenco, will be on his play list in Red Deer. “I’ll be doing things that are a little obscure, like a waltz, which isn’t commonly played…”

The musician, who’s worked with Cindy Church, Dick Damron, Pam Tillis, Lisa Brokop, Randy Travis, Randy Bachman and other artists, was born in Alberta, but raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., where his father worked at a steel plant.

Musical talent ran through his large Italian family. His mother, uncle and cousins played a variety of instruments, including mandolin, banjo, guitar, bass, and accordion.

“I grew up with string instruments,” said Peters, who was taught to play by his mom.

More recent influences are Oscar Lopez and Pavlo (Simtikidis), a Toronto guitarist who mixes the folkloric styles Greek and Latin music with pop sensibilities. After meeting Pavlo, a twice-Juno nominated gold-record selling guitarist, at the Bearberry Community Centre, Peters was commissioned to make a unique prototype guitar for him.

Having moved back to Alberta in 1984 because “I wanted to see where I was born,” the music teacher and performer became recognized as a “musician’s musician” in this province. Peters has been invited to perform at various festivals and events, including the former Central Music Festival and Canada Day at Bower Ponds.

He looks forward to playing for a Red Deer audience once again — this time with the esteemed Tyson.

Tickets to their 7:30 p.m. concert are $62 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

Kris Sturgess with Calgary Ghostbusters. (Photo from GoFundMe)
GoFundMe account salutes Red Deer prop builder

Kris Sturgess died unexpectedly April 28

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas talks with his players during a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match against Mexico's Cruz Azul at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fernando Llano
Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Gymnastics Canada skipping Olympic qualifier because of COVID-19 concerns

Gymnastics Canada skipping Olympic qualifier because of COVID-19 concerns

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships, in Montreal, Thursday, July 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
After pregnancy, injuries and a pandemic, Bishop-Nriagu finally hitting her stride

After pregnancy, injuries and a pandemic, Bishop-Nriagu finally hitting her stride

Lille's Burak Yilmaz, center, reacts with teammates after scoring during their French League One soccer match between Lille and Nice in Villeneuve d'Ascq, northern France, Saturday May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Canada’s Jonathan David scores milestone goal as Lille moves 4 points ahead of PSG

Canada’s Jonathan David scores milestone goal as Lille moves 4 points ahead of PSG

Jean Carlo Salas of Costa Rica vies for the ball with Canada's Ian Bennett (right) during a CONCACAF Futsal Championship in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-CONCACAF-Norvin Mendoza MANDATORY CREDIT
Canada denied a trip to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in penalty shootout loss to Panama

Canada denied a trip to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in penalty shootout loss to Panama

Canadian Stephen Ames one shot back of leaders at Regions Tradition

Canadian Stephen Ames one shot back of leaders at Regions Tradition

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson leaves the ice after defeating China at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Friday, May 7, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Einarson beats China 6-4, qualifies for playoffs at world curling playdowns

Canada’s Einarson beats China 6-4, qualifies for playoffs at world curling playdowns

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday May 4, 2021. A broad coalition of MPs from all five parties wants the federal government to support waiving the global rules that guard vaccine trade secrets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

Most Read