The Heritage Minute is simply the most recent honour for Canadian jazz legend Oscar Peterson, seen right here in 1955. Through the years Peterson additionally earned seven Grammys, the Order of Canada, the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award, quite a few honorary levels and a public statue in Ottawa unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007. Picture: Bettmann / Contributor / Bettmann through Getty Pictures
To mark Black Historical past Month, Historica Canada has launched a brand new Heritage Minute about legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.
“From Montreal to Carnegie Corridor and much past, Oscar Peterson grew to become probably the most recorded and celebrated jazz musicians of all time,” narrator and Black Canadian pianist-composer Oliver Jones says on the finish of the spot.
Like Peterson, Jones studied piano in his youth with Oscar’s sister, Daisy Peterson Sweeney, who can also be featured within the reenactment.
Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, born in Montreal in 1925, could be acknowledged many instances over throughout his lifetime, together with with seven Grammy awards, the Order of Canada, the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award, quite a few honorary levels and a public statue in Ottawa that was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007 — the identical yr Peterson died from kidney failure on the age of 82.
Of this newest honour, “I feel this is likely one of the ones that may actually overwhelm him,” said Peterson’s daughter Céline.
“Individuals everywhere in the world are conversant in the Heritage Minute, and it’s such a monumental type of recognition.”
She added that the debut of her father’s Heritage Minute throughout Black Historical past Month additionally carries significance.
“An enormous a part of my dad’s story was racism, first at residence after which all over the world,” Peterson mentioned. “He instructed the story once I was younger about driving up on a KKK assembly once they had been going from metropolis to metropolis [in the U.S.]. Listening to him speak about it’s nonetheless haunting for me at this time. Perhaps even a bit extra so now than it was earlier than.”
Like her father, Peterson is concerned in Canada’s jazz scene, presently serving as producer of the Kensington Market Jazz Festival in Toronto. She additionally narrated a companion video produced by Historica Canada about Little Burgundy — a Black working-class group in Montreal thought of Canada’s jazz centre.
Dubbed “the person with 4 fingers,” Peterson is simply the most recent notable Canadian to be celebrated with a Heritage Minute — however nonetheless considered one of just a few Black folks to be profiled.
In February 2016, Historica debuted a spot detailing the lifetime of Nova Scotian civil rights activist Viola Desmond and, in 1997, launched a Heritage Minute about Jackie Robinson breaking Main League Baseball’s color barrier when he signed and performed with the Montréal Royals.
In a 2016 interview with Zoomer, Historica board member Charles Bronfman — the enterprise leader-philanthropist credited with creating Heritage Minutes — mentioned the spots, which debuted in 1991, had been impressed by what he noticed in our neighbours to the south.
“I spent plenty of time in america, and the true faith of the nation is … nation … They wrap themselves within the flag … however in Canada, even within the Eighties, Canadians had no measure of themselves,” mentioned Bronfman.
“I’ve at all times believed that any society, as a way to be an excellent society and an honourable society, has to have some heroines, heroes.”