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Summary Article: Peterson, Oscar Emmanuel
From Chambers Biographical Dictionary


Canadian jazz pianist and composer

He was born in Montreal, the son of immigrants from the West Indies. He studied piano from childhood and developed a phenomenal technique and driving style, comparable with that of Art Tatum, of whom he was an admirer and friend. From 1949 Peterson's work with the touring "Jazz at the Philharmonic" groups brought him international recognition. A prolific recording artist, he achieved some of his finest work as the leader of a trio, and also worked extensively as a soloist. His compositions included Canadiana Suite (1963), Royal Suite (1981) and Africa Suite (1983), written for ballet. He was made Commandeur, L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1989 and won numerous awards, including the IMC/UNESCO International Music Prize in 2000. He released the live recording A Night in Vienna in 2004.

  • A Jazz Odyssey (2002).
© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

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