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August 23, 2006

Oscar Peterson Celebrates his 81st With a Tour

Written by
cindy mcleod

Jazz legend Oscar Peterson recently celebrated his 81st birthday and is marking the occasion by performing in three American cities. He will be appearing in quartet with Alvin Queen (drums), Ulf Wakenius (guitar) and Dave Young (bass) at the Birdland jazz club in New York tonight through Sunday, Aug 27, Jazz Alley in Seattle (Aug 29-Sept 3) and Yoshi’s in Oakland, CA (Sept 5-10).

The Canadian pianist is beloved by jazz enthusiasts, and is written into the history of jazz performance and composition. He continues to thrill audiences with his ability to swing hard and his astounding dexterity and technique, overcoming a stroke that threatened to end his career nearly a decade ago.

Oscar Peterson rose to fame in the late 40’s and 1950’s as part of Norman Granz’ Jazz at the Philharmonic. He is most associated as a leader of the piano trio sound, defined by his classic groups with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen, and his drum-less formats with guitar wizards Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, and Joe Pass.

With a discography numbering in the hundreds of recordings, he often featured other legendary guests such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Ben Webster, Lester Young, Stan Getz, Clark Terry, Benny Carter, and Milt Jackson, with his groups. Known for his commitment to furthering the future of jazz, his more recent recordings include emerging artists such as Roy Hargrove and Ralph Moore.

Dr. Peterson has been recognized with a number of awards, including receiving the Order of Canada, seven Grammy Awards including the Lifetime Achievement Grammy, the Glenn Gould International Prize, the President’s Award of the International Association for Jazz Education, the Hall of Fame Award from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from BBC Radio. In 2005 he was honored with his image being released on a Canadian postal stamp.

for more information visit www.oscarpeterson.com

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