Musicians, Politicians Pay Tribute To Oscar Peterson
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 07:59:18
Oscar Peterson, an eight-time Grammy winner (including a lifetime achievement award in 1997) who released more than 200 albums over the course of a 68-year career, died of kidney failure on Monday in his Toronto home. He was 82.
In the days since, everyone from fellow musicians (Diana Krall, Hank Jones) to noted politicians (French president Nicholas Sarkozy, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper) have expressed their love of the legendary pianist/composer.
"It's hard for me to believe, even now," Jones said in a statement. "I just thought Oscar would be around for another 100 years." "This is one of the saddest days of my life," Krall added. "I looked up to [him]."
Peterson was born in Montreal, a fact immortalized after he became the first living Canadian on a postage stamp. Ever since his first major performance—at 14, winning a TV talent contest—he's played with such jazz luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat 'King' Cole.
Among Peterson's survivors are his fourth wife, Kelly, their daughter Celine, and six children from previous marriages.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff