Canada to Issue Oscar Peterson Stamp

Classic Arts News   Canada to Issue Oscar Peterson Stamp
Canada Post will issue a postage stamp honoring Montreal-born jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Gibbons Stamp Monthly reports.

The stamp will be released on August 1, to coincide with Peterson's 80th birthday. According to Gibbons, it is rare for Canada to issue a stamp of a living individual who is not a member of the royal family.

Peterson began to perform publicly as a teenager, playing with a Montreal big band led by trumpeter Johnny Holmes. In 1949, he was introduced to American audiences when he appeared as part of impresario Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic series. In 1952, he formed a trio with guitarist Barney Kessell (later replaced by Herb Ellis) and bassist Ray Brown; it was the first of a long series of highly successful groups that also included bassists George Mraz and Sam Jones, guitarist Joe Pass, and drummers Louis Hayes, Bobby Durham, and Ray Price.

In 1993, Peterson suffered a stroke, and did not perform for two years, but has since returned to performing and recording.

The Canadian stamp will not be the first to honor Peterson; in 2003, he appeared on an Austrian stamp issued to mark the 175th anniversary of B‹sendorfer, Peterson's piano manufacturer of choice.

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