Strolling up Elgin Street past the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, it’s hard not to notice the bronze statue of jazz piano legend Oscar Peterson. The statue was unveiled in 2010 by Queen Elizabeth II, and features Peterson with his signature 97-key Bosendorfer Imperial. On July 10, 2017 some of the finest pianists on the jazz scene gathered in Ottawa to play the very same Bosendorfer that Peterson kept in his studio in Toronto. Photographer Dan Nawrocki was there to enjoy the music and take some terrific photos. Here’s his review.
‘Oscar, With Love’
National Arts Centre, Southam Hall Ottawa
In commemoration of the 90th birthday of jazz piano legend Oscar Peterson, his widow, Kelly Peterson produced a recording of original never-before-heard Oscar Peterson compositions aptly titled “Oscar, With Love”. The album features a series of performances by some of the most celebrated jazz artists in the world and was recorded in Oscar’s home studio on his treasured Bösendorfer Imperial piano that has barely been touched since the Jazz legend’s death in 2007.
The concert which followed was part of the National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene series and Emceed by Kelly Peterson and daughter Celine, who gather together seven of the world’s most renowned jazz pianists together for a rare concert appearance performing Oscar’s original compositions on his beloved Bösendorfer.
The evening’s program featured performances by Bill Charlap, Gerald Clayton, Benny Green, Justin Kauflin, along with Canadians Robi Botos, Jon Kimura Parker and included a very special appearance by Oliver Jones, who had come out of retirement for the evening in order to pay homage to his dear friend and musical mentor.
Throughout the two hour tribute, each artist performed selections by and for Oscar, supported by Canadian bassist Dave Young, Oscar’s long-time associate, who appeared alongside the musicians on a variety of compositions in an unforgettable evening that brought a legend’s treasured piano back to life once again in what has been billed as an “intimate evening of music and memories”.