OSCAR PETERSON


Artist / Writer


JAZZ

Renowned Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson has wowed the music world with his piano wizardry for almost half a century. Born in Montreal on 5th August 1925, Oscar was brought up in a musical family, where his father, a self taught pianist, taught all his children his knowledge on piano and trumpet. From there Oscar went on to study with accomplished classical Hungarian pianist, Paul de Marky, who taught Oscar "technique and speedy fingers".

Oscars influences during his early years were Teddy Williams, Nat (King) Cole, James P. Johnson and the legendary Art Tatum. At 14, Oscars older sister Daisy got him to audition for a CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) national amateur contest which he went on to win. This opened the doors to performances on a weekly broadcast show, on a Montreal radio station, Fifteen Minutes Piano Rambling and later performances on a national CBC broadcast, The Happy Gang. Oscar formed his first trio in 1947, which began weekly radio broadcasts from Montreals Alberta Lounge and it was there in 1949 that he met jazz impresario Norman Granz, who became his manager. It wasnt long before Norman brought Oscar to the United States for his first concert at Carnegie Hall.

Oscar launched a new trio in 1953 with American bassist Ray Brown and American guitarist Herb Ellis (Herb was replaced in 1958 by Ed Thigpen) until 1965. Between 1967 and 1972, Oscar recorded a series of 15 albums for the German MPS record label, including "Exclusively for My Friends" and in the mid-1970s Peterson began collaborating with Danish bassist Neils-Henning Orsted Pederson and occasionally in trio format with American guitarist Joe Pass

Oscar Peterson has won seven Grammy awards in the years 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1990 (two awards) and 1991. His best known works are "Canadiana Suite" (1963),"Hymn to Freedom" (1964) and "Easter Suite" (1984) and his music has been used in film scores, including two award winning NFB shorts, Celebration and Norman McLarens Begone Dull Care.