DIDSBURY – A local musician is not only a talented singer and strings player but is also an accomplished maker of stringed instruments.
Jake Peters has put out multiple CDs and is an award-winning guitar and banjo picker. As his website (jakepeters.ca) states, “anything with strings is fair game.” He is also a teacher and mentor to anyone interested in music.
In his workshop in Didsbury, Peters designs and builds handcrafted stringed instruments, which he sells around the world. Known as a luthier (stringed instrument maker), Peters has made everything from traditional guitars to banjos to ukuleles and more.
“I’ve been playing music pretty much my whole life,” Peters told the Gazette. “The ukulele I’ve been playing the last 10 years or so, really focusing on it.”
Peters says that playing music is soothing and healing.
“I do a lot of performances where it’s just that,” he said. “I perform in hospices and places like that. I do other performances like this one (at the museum). I teach a ukulele course in town. I’ve been busy doing that for the last four years.”
Peters makes all of his stringed instruments from scratch. He travels all the way to Hawaii to get the wood to make the instruments.
“It takes me about three months to make one from scratch-from start to finish,” he said. “I grew up in a musical family. My grandfather built instruments. My uncles and my mom all repaired instruments.”
Peters describes himself as being self-caught although he has gone on journeys to learn more from instructors. He also took a luthiery course in 1985.
“I live in Didsbury and I get to sell ukeleles in Hawaii,” he said. “There’s a store there that takes a couple a year.”
Peters has no outlets selling his wares in North America and relies on selling directly himself.
Peters plays a variety of different music encompassing everything including gospel, bluegrass, country, Spanish, jazz, classical and world rhythms.
He plays at many different venues including soft seat theatres, churches, corporate events, weddings, festivals and fundraisers.