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C Jam Blues

Oscar Peterson

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August 15, 1925 - December 23, 2007


The "Oscar Peterson Trio" is featured live in Denmark in 1964.

Oscar Peterson, piano
Ray Brown, bass
Ed Thigpen, drums

Oscar Peterson grew up in the Little Burgundy neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec showing pronounced talent for trumpet and piano by the age of five.

After a bought of tuberculosis when he was seven he was no lager able to play horn and focused all of his attention to the keys.

By the age of nine Peterson's playing had the devoped the polish only found commonly in professionals twice his age.

Influence early on by the music of Teddy Wilson, Nat "King" Cole, Art Tatum, and James P. Johnson he went on to win the national music competition organized by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation when he was fourteen.

Norman Granz discovered Peterson performing at a local club in Montreal and was so taken with his exceptional piano that he introduced him at a Carnegie Hall Jazz at the Philharmonic show in 1949.

The two forged a lasting friendship and Granz remained Oscar Peterson's manager for much of his career.

Facilitated by Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic concert series he was given an opportunity to perform with many major jazz artists.

In the late 1950s Oscar Peterson gained world wide recognition as one of the leading pianist in jazz for his technique and versatility performing in assemblies of all sizes from duos to big bands.

He taught piano for five years during the 1960s as head of the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto and would later mentor the York University jazz program in the 1990s.

In addition Oscar Peterson was a prolific composer whose works include "Canadiana Suite" and "Hymn to Freedom."

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