The Oscar Peterson Trio


New York, ,


Known as the "Maharaja of the Keyboard", Oscar Peterson's dextrous fingers and extraordinary talent helped him become a legendary jazz pianist and winner of eight Grammy Awards. Born the son of West Indian immigrants to Canada, Peterson was taught ragtime and classical piano by his aunt Daisy and started playing on local radio shows as a 14-year-old, before learning his trade in the Johnny Holmes Orchestra. Discovered by music impresario Norman Granz in 1949, Peterson went on to perform with Count Basie, Herbie Hancock, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald, and quickly became a star within jazz circles for his lightning fast playing and improvisational skills. Alongside guitarist Herb Ellis and double bass player Ray Brown, his multi-ethnic trio broke down racial barriers and won huge critical acclaim for their experimental swing and free-form be-bop styles, captured best on classic album Oscar Peterson at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival (1956). In later years they took on pop hits by The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and toured the festivals of the world before Peterson suffered a stroke in 1993. He died of kidney failure in 2007.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved