Oscar Peterson's Africa Suite has never been performed in its entirety — until now

Twelve years after Peterson's death, the jazz legend's Africa Suite is making its world premiere in Toronto.
Jazz pianists Benny Green and the late Oscar Peterson. (Submitted by Kelly Peterson)

In 1983, Canadian jazz legend Oscar Peterson performed a piece of music called Peace in Tokyo. The track was a part of his Africa Suite, completed in 1979.

The late Oscar Peterson with his wife, Kelly Peterson. (Submitted by Kelly Peterson)

In an earlier concert, Peterson performed a track called Nigerian Marketplace, which was also part of the Africa Suite.

But Peterson never performed the suite its entirety during his lifetime. In fact, only a small handful of songs from the suite were performed at all.

That will all change this week. On Wednesday, Feb. 12 — 12 years after Peterson's death — his Africa Suite will make its world premiere at Toronto's Koerner Hall.

The event, which is part of the larger Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival, is organised by the late jazz artist's wife, Kelly Peterson, and features his protege and collaborator, Benny Green, on piano.

Kelly Peterson and Green joined q host Tom Power to talk about the late Canadian jazz icon and why they're premiering the Africa Suite now.

Download our podcast or click the 'Listen' link near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.

— Produced by ​Ben Edwards

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