Saskatoon resident JJ Guy is the first Saskatchewan resident inducted into the North American Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame (HoF).
Since the age of seven, JJ has never taken a class or course to learn his craft.
His skills have come organically from listening, watching and learning from others around him for just over 30 years.
“I was surprised for sure. To be inducted with my heroes, when I look at the previous people who have been inducted in there, fiddle heroes I had growing up… It’s very much an honour and a privilege for me to be with those people,” said JJ.
The Canadian musician started playing in a band with his sisters at a young age, learned throughout high school, then went straight into teaching.
He now travels the country teaching at camps, holding clinics, and has even hosted 66 virtual sessions so far throughout the pandemic called Jamming with JJ.
On the road, JJ currently tours with Gordon Stobbe, who is also an HoF inductee. The two call themselves the Twin Fiddles and have made five albums together.
“If I was to say best memory, it’s the whole thing. I’m pretty lucky I’ve had some pretty lucky breaks, so I have a pretty good life. I’m very happy,” said JJ.
Long-time member of the fiddle community and one of the people who nominated JJ, John Tribe, said there are many reasons why he should receive the honour.
Tribe noted JJ’s technical ability, exciting performances, capacity to teach and his selflessness.
“Fiddling should be about fun. I always said if you’re not having fun fiddling, you’re not doing it right. And JJ has fun fiddling and it’s just enjoyable to be around him,” said Tribe.
One person is chosen each year to join the HoF who promotes, perpetuates and preserves fiddling.
Out of over 150 applicants, JJ was selected as the 2021 inductee.
“He’s one of the top 50 fiddlers to be recognized by the Hall of Fame and that’s really a great thing. That means lots of people recognize that he is a talented musician,” said HoF spokesperson, Jackie Hobbs.
The inductee is known to play a variety of different music, sometimes even mixing in Metis and Flamenco styles.
JJ hopes to one day take his talents south to expand his music knowledge and share his passion.
As he says, he is not done yet.
The fiddler will have a bio written for him, as well as a plaque will be put up in his honour at the HoF.