The Festival presents a thrilling and intimate celebration of the life and music of Dr. Oscar Peterson, CC., CQ. (1925-2007), hosted by the iconic jazz pianist’s daughter, Céline Peterson. Coming together on stage for the first time to pay tribute to their friend and mentor, whom Montreal is proud to call its own, are Peterson’s bass player Dave Young, pianist Ben Paterson, and percussionist Jim Doxas. The wonderful Oliver Jones also joins us as the Festival’s TD Jazz series spokesperson at the concert on Friday, June 1 at 8:00 pm at Pollack Hall.
One of the most popular and beloved jazz artists in history, Oscar Peterson was also one of the greatest virtuosos in jazz, with a stellar and meticulous piano technique. He released an astounding number of recordings, winning eight Grammy awards – including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award — and almost every possible honour in the jazz world, and continues to be championed at home in Canada as well. Duke Ellington referred to Peterson as “maharajah of the keyboard,” and Count Basie said, “Oscar Peterson plays the best ivory box I’ve ever heard.”
The concert on June 1st will celebrate Peterson’s legacy as a composer, as well as a brilliant interpreter, with beloved works such as “Hymn to Freedom” and “When Summer Comes” along with many great jazz standards, infused with Peterson’s individual style. Devotees will recognize the “Peterson Trio format” – the way that the piano, bass and drums are positioned – which remains unique in the industry, as well as other personal touches. The special evening will offer a taste of various aspects of Peterson’s musical and personal history, to be enjoyed by both life-long fans and discovered by new ones.
Peterson called Dave Young “one of the most talented bassists on the jazz scene,” noting his “harmonic sympatico and unerring sense of time.” The two enjoyed a thirty-five year musical relationship. One of Canada’s most valuable and beloved musical exports, Young has several Juno Award-winning recordings to his credit, and was recently named as a member to The Order of Canada. While Dave has shared the stage with a virtual “Who’s Who” of international jazz musicians, he is equally adept in the classical music repertoire.
Downbeat Magazine calls Ben Paterson “as soulful a pianist/organist as exists anywhere.” Now based in New York, Ben has garnered international acclaim for his superb musicianship and engaging performances, whether leading his own groups at premier Jazz clubs and at festivals around the world or working with groups like Steely Dan, B.B. King and Buddy Guy. His latest recording, “That Old Feeling,” is strongly influenced by the Oscar Peterson Trio repertoire.
Montreal’s own Jim Doxas, percussionist, is a popular featured artist at jazz festivals worldwide, praised by AllAboutJazz.com for his “startling invention” and “highly original vocabulary.” A 10-year veteran of Oliver Jones’s band, Doxas also worked with John Abercrombie, Joe Lovano, Hank Jones, Edward Simon, Dave Binney, and Maria Schneider, and has been recognized with multiple Felix and Juno Awards over the last several years.
The Festival’s Friday night TD Jazz series continues on June 8 with rising young jazz pianist and Grammy-nominee Eldar Djangirov and his trio, followed by the exuberant saxophonist, singer, and composer Grace Kelly on June 15. Please see more information at: https://festivalmontreal.org/td-jazz-concerts