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Oscar Peterson

AKA Oscar Emmanuel Peterson

Born: 15-Aug-1925
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died: 24-Dec-2007
Location of death: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Cause of death: Kidney failure

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Jazz Musician, Pianist, Composer

Nationality: Canada
Executive summary: Maharajah of the keyboard

Oscar Peterson started as a trumpet player, but more than a year of hospitalization with childhood tuberculosis left his lungs too weak to blow, so he switched to the piano and became one of the greatest swing, bebop, and jazz pianists of his time. By his teens he was featured piano player on a Canadian nationwide radio program. Dazzling as either a soloist or in an ensemble, he made his debut at New York's Carnegie Hall at 22, and toured with Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic. He found his greatest success with his own Oscar Peterson Trio, with Ray Brown on bass and Herb Ellis playing guitar. Ellis was eventually replaced by Ed Thigpen on drums, changing the trio's sound but only increasing its popularity. Also a composer, his works included the patriotic "Canadiana Suite", "African Suite", and "A Royal Wedding Suite" written for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

Father: Daniel Peterson (porter)
Mother: Kathleen Olivia John Peterson (domestic worker)
Sister: Daisy Peterson
Wife: Lillian Fraser Peterson ("Lillie", dated 1943-44, m. 1944, div.)
Wife: Sandy Peterson (div.)
Wife: Charlotte Peterson (div.)
Wife: Kelly Peterson
Daughter: Lyn Peterson
Daughter: Sharon Peterson
Daughter: Gay Peterson
Son: Oscar Peterson, Jr.
Son: Norman Peterson
Son: Joel Peterson
Daughter: Celine Peterson

    High School: Montreal High School, Montreal, Canada (dropped out)
    Administrator: President, Advanced School of Contemporary Music (1960-63)
    Administrator: Chancellor, York University Toronto (1991-94)

    Praemium Imperiale Award (1999)
    Grammy Best Jazz Performance by a Group (1974), The Trio
    Grammy Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist (1977), The Giants
    Grammy Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist (1978), Montreux '77 Oscar Peterson Jam
    Grammy Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist (1979), Jousts
    Grammy Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group (1990), The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio Live at the Blue Note
    Grammy Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist (1990), The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio Live at the Blue Note
    Grammy Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group (1991), Saturday Night at the Blue Note
    Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1997)
    National Order of Quebec (1991)
    Juno Juno Hall of Fame Award (1982)
    Juno Best Jazz Album (1987), If You Could See Me Now
    Juno Best Jazz Album (1992), Last Call at the Blue Note
    Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame (1995)
    Canadian Music Hall of Fame (1978)
    Order of Canada (1972)
    Stroke 1963
    Risk Factors: Tuberculosis

Official Website:
http://www.oscarpeterson.com/

Author of books:
A Jazz Odyssey: The Life of Oscar Peterson (2002, biography)

Appears on postage stamps:
Canada, Scott #2118 (50, issued 15-Aug-2005)



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