The Life and Times of Oscar Peterson: Keeping the Groove Alive

Keeping the Groove Alive is a one-hour documentary to be broadcast at 7pm tonight on CBC Television’s Life and Times biography series. The documentary will be of special interest to the York community because it profiles Chancellor Emeritus Oscar Peterson.

Dubbed the “maharajah of piano” by Duke Ellington, Peterson is an icon of the international jazz scene: one of the great virtuosos of the genre. He has recorded over 80 albums in his own name and is a six-time Grammy Award winner. He was inducted into the Juno Awards Hall of Fame in 1978.

As an adjunct professor in York’s Department of Music from 1984 to the late 1990s, Peterson established several student awards in the jazz program. A student jazz ensemble performance taped at York University this spring is featured in the documentary.

A recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Letters from York in 1982, Peterson was installed as its chancellor in September 1991. He served the University with great distinction until the fall of 1993. Peterson was made an Honorary Governor of York in 1995.

Keeping the Groove Alive looks at the man who went from a local house band at the Alberta Lounge in Montreal to international acclaim. Peterson has recorded and shared the stage with all the jazz greats, including Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie.

The documentary will be repeated on CBC Newsworld on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 7am.

Graphic courtesy of GAPC Entertainment Inc.