Knights of the Pain Table

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Jazz Icon, Oscar Peterson – Thy Heart was a Lamp in the World of Jazz

Oscar Peterson

Heaven is now enriched by the sweet sounds of celestial jazz by the greatness of a noble man called Oscar Peterson. On the 23rd day of December of the year 2007, this giant of Jazz, died at 82 years of age in his home in Mississauga, Ontario. When word of this great loss was announced, French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, said one of the bright lights of jazz had been extinguished.     But Oscar’s flame has not been extinguished.    His genius of fiery passion and excellence lives on in the music he made and the lives that he touched throughout the world.

Here is Oscar Peterson from his TV show.

On Friday,  the family of Oscar Peterson, including Kelly Peterson  ( Oscar’s widow),  and artists such as Nancy Wilson and Candido Camero,  were part of a tribute for this giant of a man.    Peterson was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Association of Jazz Education  (IAJE)  as part of its 35th annual international conference.

On Saturday Herbie Hancock,  Measha Brueggergosman  and Quincy Jones were part of another tribute at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto,  called  “Simply the Best”,   which was free to the public.    Some 2,000 seats were awarded to fans who lined up at the box office.  Oscar’s 16 year old daughter,  Celine,  paid a heartfelt tribute to her father as well as former Ontario premier Bob Rae and Gov. Gen Michaelle Jean.

This  Montreal born pianist conquered the hearts and admiration of millions around the world.    Oscar Peterson won eight Grammy Awards,  including one for Lifetime Achievement in 1997.    He also received an International Jazz Hall of Fame Award in the same year and was named a Companion of the Order of Canada, its highest level.    He performed at Carnegie Hall more than 30 times.

Over the years,   Peterson’s recording and performing partners included such stars as Charlie Parker,  Ella Fitzgerald,   Dizzy Gillespie,   Louis Armstrong,   Duke Ellington, Count Basie,   Nat King Cole,   Stan Getz and Diana Krall.

Oscar Peterson had an almost lifelong battle with arthritis,  which afflicted his hands and knees.   As he grew older,  Peterson kept touring,  despite worsening arthritis.

In 1993,   Peterson suffered a stroke, while at New York’s Blue Note club,  that weakened his left hand,   but within a year he was back on tour,  recording “Side By Side”, with Itzhak Perlman.

We thanketh Oscar Peterson for his dedication to his art and for being an incredible human being.

God Bless you Oscar Peterson.

Thou wilt not be forgotten.

Lady Sharon,
Scribe of the Knight of the Pain Table News

This clip originally aired on CBC in 1980’s, which features some interviews with the late great Oscar Peterson.


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2 Responses to “Jazz Icon, Oscar Peterson – Thy Heart was a Lamp in the World of Jazz”

  1. deb says:

    I was fortunate enough to once sit beside Oscar Peterson on a piano bench. That was over 30 years ago but I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach and my racing heartbeat.
    He was an amazing man with a song that could not be ignored.

  2. Lady Sharon says:

    Wow Lady Deb,

    What an amazing moment to have in your life. To be seated beside greatness is a great honour. I did not have the pleasure to hear him play live but I imagine it must have just permeated your soul. There is something about hearing jazz live that gives it another dimension.

    What a lovely story Lady Deb.

    I thanketh you for partaking in the remembrance of a special man.

    Your friend,
    Lady Sharon