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Jowi Taylor

Jowi Taylor

Photo: Doug Nicholson

Jowi Taylor, M.S.M. is a multiple award winning writer, broadcaster, consultant and cultural entrepreneur. His groundbreaking series for CBC Radio,The Wire: The Impact of Electricity on Music, was the recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award, among other international citations. Many of his broadcast productions, including The Nerve: Music and the Human ExperienceInvisible Cities and the long-running weekly show Global-Village have been internationally recognized. Jowi left CBC in 2009.

Six String Nationconceived in 1995, took eleven years to bring to life. Centered around a single acoustic guitar – nicknamedVoyageur and built from over sixty pieces of Canadian history representing different cultures, communities and characters from every part of the country – the project combines Jowi’s fascinations with music, media, community engagement, and the dynamics of Canadian history and multicultural identity.

His presentation about the project can be seen at schools, festivals, community and corporate events and his bestselling book for the prestigious Canadian publisher Douglas & McIntyre,Six String Nation: 64 Pieces. 6 Strings. 1 Canada. 1 Guitar, now in its second printing, is available from online sellers and bookstores across Canada as well as directly from Jowi at selected events.

In 2015, Jowi was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada for his work on Six String Nation.




Six String Nation: 64 Pieces. 6 Strings. 1 Canada. 1 Guitar.. Douglas & McIntyre, 2009


George Foster Peabody Award for The Wire: The Impact of Electricity on Music (for CBC Radio), 2005
Prix Italia for The Wire: The Impact of Electricity on Music (for CBC Radio), 2006
The New York Festivals World Medal for The Nerve: Music and the Human Experience (for CBC Radio), 2009
Meritorious Service Medal of Canada (Civilian Division) for for Six String Nation as a project, 2015
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

Voyageur, the guitar at the heart of the Six String Nation project, is literally built of stories. Each of the 64 pieces that comprise the guitar itself and the additional elements that adorn the case and strap is a doorway to a different perspective on the complex and diverse threads that weave together in the story of Canada.

Students can delve into these stories through research and mapping and other activities. Musicians can bring particular stories to life in poetry and song. The web and social media can reveal aspects of the project’s journey as it makes its way to different parts of the country and different communities along the way.

But the most direct and moving way to hear the stories of the Six String Nation come to life is in the multimedia presentation of project creator and Peabody Award winning broadcaster and author Jowi Taylor.

“The moment he came on stage I knew I was in the presence of a real storyteller” - audience member turned corporate client.

Weaving video, audio and extraordinary photography with his own experience of struggling to see a quixotic and multi- faceted project to completion and sharing it with audiences across Canada and beyond, Taylor takes audiences young and old on a fascinating and emotional journey across vast Canadian landscapes to the heart of what it means to be Canadian from a thousand and one points of view. It’s the story of Canada as you’ve never heard it - or held it - before. Whether it’s to give students inspiration for learning, helping to strengthen bonds and articulate mission on a corporate team or helping to commemorate a milestone for a community, perhaps it’s not surprising that it’s this story about a guitar that truly resonates on so many different levels.

He has delivered the presentation to intimate house concerts and teeming festival audiences alike. He has addressed groups of students, seniors, corporate leaders, community groups, politicians and music fans. The show is suitable for students about grade 5 and up through post graduate seminars but has something for absolutely everyone of every background and age group. It’s about 65 minutes long (though most audiences say it could go on a lot longer!) and includes a “performance pocket” segment during which Canada’s most famous guitar comes to life in the hands of someone from the community.

Tech requirements available on request.


Presentation Length:
65-70 minutes
Canadian history and diversity, multiculturalism, reconciliation, music.
Audience Size:
Mostly full-school assemblies of whatever size. Additional classroom or club special visits also available in addition.
Workshop Description:

Different schools have requested that I spend additional time with specific groups following an assembly presentation - such as a Social Studies class or a guitar club. This is a chance for more students to ask questions, take pictures and get a chance to hold Voyageur, the guitar at the heart of the project.

Jowi has also participated in more advanced workshops including lyric-writing and heritage fair project critiques.