Sunday, July 26, 2009
Benny Green pays tribute to Oscar Peterson
Legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson died in 2007 at his home in Mississauga, Ontario but his legend will live on for generations. I attended Jazz Port Townsend in Port Townsend, Washington this past weekend and jazz pianist Benny Green paid tribute to the Canadian musician with A Tribute to Oscar Peterson.
Two of my favorite tunes were composed by Peterson, Wheatland from Canadiana Suite and Hymn to Freedom, which he wrote in the 1960s, inspired by the U.S. civil rights movement.
Accompanying Green were Doug Miller on bass and Alvester Garnett on drums. Jazz Port Townsend's Artistic Director John Clayton, also a bass player, played the last part of the tribute. And in a touching moment, Clayton phoned Peterson's wife Kelly who could not make the concert since daughter Celine was in the hospital following a car accident. Thousands of people in McCurdy Pavillion at Fort Worden State Park gave a rousing round of applause to honor Oscar Peterson.
On May 21, 2008, Oscar Peterson's suede shoes were inducted into The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.
Jazz pianist Benny Green and John Clayton on bass Photo by Sue Frause