Peterson, Oscar (jazz) (Emmanuel )
- revised by Bill Dobbins
- and Barry Kernfeld
(b Montreal, Aug 15, 1925; d Toronto, Dec 23, 2007). Canadian pianist and leader. He took up trumpet and piano at the age of five, and three years later, after overcoming tuberculosis, he commenced classical piano lessons. When he was 14 he won a local talent contest. A high school classmate of Maynard Ferguson, he played on a weekly Montreal radio show during his late teens and from 1944 to 1947 was heard with Canada’s well-known Johnny Holmes Orchestra, playing in a style that blended elements from the styles of Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum, Nat “King” Cole, Erroll Garner, and others. In 1948–9 he led a trio in Montreal. Norman Granz invited him to appear at Carnegie Hall in September 1949 in a Jazz at the Philharmonic concert and from that time onwards managed Peterson’s career. Peterson toured regularly with Jazz at the Philharmonic during the early 1950s, initially working in a duo with Ray Brown. In ...