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.

Just Posted

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Some Red Deer waste collection schedules change due to holiday season

Tuesday collections will be moved for two weeks

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport’s prospects are looking up for 2019

Ultra-low-cost passenger service is on the horizon

Funding down for Red Deer Christmas charities

Food hampers and toys for children going out to those in need

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read