Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson was a Canadian jazz composer and pianist from 1925 to 2007. Peterson was born in Montreal, Canada. He learned piano and trumpet from his father when he was five years old. However, by seven years of age, Peterson had refocused his attention on the piano after suffering from tuberculosis. Peterson was influenced by Nat “King”, Cole, James P. Johnson and Art Tatum in his early years. Many people have attempted to liken Peterson to Art Tatum later on. Peterson’s father played an Art Tatum album to him as a teenager. Peterson was so scared by the music that he wouldn’t touch the piano for more than a week. He quickly earned a reputation for being a jazz pianist who was technically brilliant and melodically innovative. Norman Granz introduced him to the United States at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1949. However, due to union restrictions, his appearance was not billed. Ray Brown, Ben Webster and Herb Ellis were among his musical partners. His career milestone was his joining Norman Granz’s labels, especially Verve records and Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic package. This allowed him to perform with the most prominent jazz musicians of the day. Peterson was also managed by Granz for the majority of his career. Some experts believe that Peterson’s greatest recordings were made for the MPS record label in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After 1973’s founding of Granz’s Pablo Records, Peterson recorded several years later for Telarc and then for Granz. Peterson was severely injured in a stroke that left him paralysed for two years. He overcame the setback and resumed touring, recording and composition on a limited basis. He was awarded a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in 1997 and an International Jazz Hall of Fame Award in 1997. On December 24, 2007, he died from kidney failure. Text contributed by users is available under Creative Commons By–SA License. It may also be available under GNU FDL.

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