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Oscar Peterson plays from ‘Canadiana Suite’

The Story

Oscar Peterson takes a break from his busy schedule and talks about his accomplishments with CBC's Hana Gartner. By 1979 Peterson has successfully branched out as a solo artist without the backing of a trio. (Duke Ellington encouraged Peterson to play solo saying he ought to highlight the "caviar of his talents...without the eggs and the onions.") Peterson counts crooner Frank Sinatra and classical pianist André Previn among his fans. He has earned the nickname "Maharajah of the keyboard," a title bestowed on him by the Duke himself. Despite being an international star, Peterson maintains a strong affinity to Canada, making his home in Toronto. But Peterson feels overlooked by Canadians. He feels he hasn't received the respect he has abroad in his own country. It's a slight that Peterson is particularly sensitive to, considering his love of Canada.

Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: March 7, 1979
Guest: Oscar Peterson
Host: Harry Brown, Hana Gartner
Duration: 14:03

Did You know?

• Oscar Peterson composed the Canadiana Suite to celebrate his native land. First recorded in 1964, the composition journeys from the East to the West. Pieces that make up the suite include: Ballad to the East, Laurentides Waltz (Quebec's Laurentian Mountains), Place St. Henri (his birthplace), Hogtown Blues (Toronto), Blues of the Prairies, March Past (Calgary Stampede parade) and Land of the Misty Giants (Rocky Mountains).

• In 1960, along with Ray Brown, Ed Thigpen and Phil Nimmons, Oscar Peterson opened the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto. In its three-year existence the school drew music students from around the world interested in jazz.
• In 1978 Oscar Peterson, along with Guy Lombardo, had the honour of being the first to receive the Juno Hall of Fame award.


Oscar Peterson: A Jazz Giant more