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Nicholas Jennings

Music Feature: Oscar Peterson's Jazz School

Music Feature: Oscar Peterson's Jazz School
Oscar Peterson is remembered as a gifted pianist who could play it all, from Chopin and Liszt to blues, stride, boogie and beyond. Peterson led his own jazz trios, performed with such legendary figures as Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, who dubbed him “the man with four hands,” won eight Grammy Awards and Canada’s prestigious Glenn Gould Prize. Called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, he released over 200 recordings before his death in 2007, including his 1956 Stratford Festival recording, 1958’s  On the Town , recorded at Toronto’s Town Tavern, and 1962’s  Night Train , which featured a number of Ellington piec...
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Nicholas Jennings

Obituary: Oscar Peterson

Few pianists swung as hard or played as fast and with as many grace notes as Canada’s Oscar Peterson. The classically trained musician could play it all, from Chopin and Liszt to blues, stride, boogie, bebop and beyond. He led his own jazz trios, performed with such legendary figures as Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, who called him “the man with four hands,” recorded more than 200 albums and wrote such memorable works as “Hymn to Freedom” and the “Canadiana Suite.” “A virtuoso without peer,” concluded his biographer, Gene Lees, in The Will to Swing . When Peterson died this week, music lovers around the world mourned the loss of a lyrical stylist and one o...
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Nicholas Jennings

Feature Article: Oscar Peterson - A living, swinging legend

Feature Article: Oscar Peterson - A living, swinging legend
Oscar Peterson peers up through the glass ceiling of his sunroom and apologizes for the faint noise coming from a distant jet passing overhead. “We’re right in their flight path,” explains Peterson, whose split-level house in Mississauga, Ont., sits due west of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Happily, the spacious home he shares with his fourth wife, Kelly, and their seven-year-old daughter, Celine, is also smack in the middle of the flight path of many migrating birds. Peterson loves birds. His sunroom is filled with artists’ renderings of them—some cast in bronze, others shaped in shards of brightly coloured glass. “My favourite is the loon,” says Peterson. “I've always loved its ...
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